E – Safety

Social Networking and Instant Messaging

There are lots of ways to protect your privacy and stay safe when using social networking and instant messaging services. Here are our top 3 tips:

1. Think before you post – once you post something online you don’t know who else could make a copy of it. This especially goes for pictures.
2. Use your privacy settings or account settings so only approved friends can view your full profile on social networks. Make sure you know how to block and delete instant messaging and social networking contacts.
3. Make sure you know how to report anything that upsets or worries you. Most social networks and instant messenger services have an administrator or a reporting report. If you are suspicious about the behaviour of an adult towards a child, you should report to the police at CEOP (www.ceop.police.uk)

If you are a parent or carer and want to learn more about supporting your child to use social networks safely and responsibly, download the Childnet Guide to Young People and Social Networks. https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/


There are plenty of ways to stay safe when using your smart phone. Here are a few tips to get your started.

1. Remember that smart phones connect to the Internet, so the same advice and rules for keeping safe online apply.
2. Talk with your family about safe and responsible smart phone use and agree a set of family rules. Perhaps you could agree rules about not meeting up with people you only meet online, how much to spend on apps and a limit, what websites it is okay and not okay to visit and whether phones should be switched on or off at night.
3. When you sign up to a mobile phone contract, make sure you understand the contracts Internet data allowance – accessing the Internet uses this allowance and going over your limit can cost you money. If you are abroad using your smart phone on the Internet it can cost substantially more than in the UK.

For more advice, see the Safer Internet Centre’s Parents Guide to Technology which covers safe smart phones use www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-and-resources/a-parents-guide or Sexting Advice for Parents Leaflet

Childline advice for parents on Sexting

Cyber Smile


Safety on the Net

The Internet allows you to communicate anonymously. Remember that the people you meet online are strangers and might not be who they say they are.

1. Don’t give out personal information to others, like your surname, address, phone numbers or pictures.
2. You should never meet up with people you have met only through the Internet.
3. Never lie or pretend to be someone you are not.

How can I tell if I am using a secure site?

1. There is a padlockicon in the bottom right hand corner of the page which means that the site is secure to send credit card details through when purchasing items.
2. Your web browser may tell you if you are entering a secure site.
3. The letter ‘s’ may appear after the http in the site’s address.

www.thinkyouknow.co.uk – Get the inside info on how to stay safe whilst having fun online
www.chatdanger.com – How to keep safe when chatting online
Ever searched for something on the web and then been completely confused by the millions of pages that come up and you end up having to look through loads of boring sites? There is so much out there that can help you with things like school projects and homework as well as fun stuff.

Top tips for searching the Internet

1. Search for the obvious first. Put in ‘jupiter’ rather than planets if searching for information on Jupiter.
2. Use other words that you would like the search to show information on, i.e. ‘Moons of jupiter’ to get better results.
3. Make keywords as specific as possible to your search i.e. ‘the rules of netball’ rather than sports rules or just netball.
4. The order that you type the words in will affect the search i.e. ‘English Queens’ and ‘Queens of England’ will produce different results.
5. To search for a person, title, quote or saying put the words in quotes for better results i.e. ‘Harry Potter’.

Safe Searching

No single body regulates the Internet and is able to control the content on the Internet. The Internet contains many things most people would consider offensive or inappropriate. To protect yourself and your children when they search for information consider the following:

1. Turn on safe search in Google. This will prevent some inappropriate content being searched for.
2. Switch on the built in filtering in your operating system through Control Panel. This will block certain types of websites.
3. Think about where you put your computer. If it is in a room where you are this will act a deterrent.


Never be pressured into anything you don’t want to do

Tip: The most important thing to trust is your instinct. If you don’t feel safe or comfortable that’s because it more than likely isn’t.

Useful Apps

Internetmatters.com have produced an extensive guide that covers nearly all devices in the home. It explains the features and benefits of the device and what specific content can be restricted.

You can get information about each device individually online: http://www.internetmatters.org/controls/interactive-guide/

Net Aware (http://www.net-aware.org.uk/) – Site for parents to rate social media apps and sites based on the features their appropriateness. Describes potential dangers and even tells what age children should be allowed to have access to it.

Digital Safety (https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/blog/digital-safety-staying-safe-online.html) – Gives a quick overview of internet dangers. Useful for teaching children, with a helpful keeping kids safe section and a social media section.

Important information regarding Apps:

App Aware Information