Keeping Safe Online
We are committed to doing all we can to make sure your child’s use of the Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends site is carefully monitored and controlled. By working in partnership with parents and guardians we can ensure the Tatty Teddy & My Blue Nose Friends on-line environment is a safe and harmonious place to be and your child is safer on-line.
Key steps to keeping your child safe on-line
- Make sure you know as much as possible about what your child is doing online. Make sure you know what sites they are visiting and who they are exchanging messages with. Showing you’re interested by keeping up to date with what your child is doing on-line you can look out for any suspicious activity.
- Make sure your child understands that they shouldn’t give out their personal information to people they meet on the internet. Stress that although they may think of them as friends, there’s a risk (however small) that they’re not who they say they are. Revealing to other users their age, phone number, address - even gender - is potentially unsafe. Most importantly they should never post an identifiable photograph and be extremely careful to monitor the use of personal webcams.
- Think about installing parental control software on your computer that allows you to block access to certain types of website or to log your child’s internet activity. It can also prevent email traffic from undesirable sources. More information is available from the Internet Content Rating Association (www.fosi.org/icra).
- Check the history of sites your child has visited, and be explicit that you’ll do this regularly. If the history has been deleted, always ask them why.
- Talk to other parents about the rules they have for their children. Your child may know not to post their picture on a networking site, but that doesn’t stop friends posting group photos that may include them.
- Be aware of how, when and where your child uses the internet. This will help you to spot any significant changes in their behaviour - for example, if they spending much longer online than usual. This may well be nothing more than typical adolescent behaviour, but at least you’ll be alert to other possibilities.
- Look out for personality changes that may signal your child is being bullied or abused. These can include loss of confidence, withdrawal from family life, anxiety or argumentativeness, insomnia or lack of concentration.
- Talk to your child about the type of site he may stumble across either accidentally or if curiosity gets the better of them. You may find it an uncomfortable topic (and they almost certainly will) but experts at NCH, the children’s charity, say it’s much more sensible to discuss with your child the possibility that they’ll encounter pornographic material on the internet. That way they should feel more able to turn to you if they feel things are getting out of hand - and they’ll be much less vulnerable to potential abusers urging them to keep secrets.
- Speak to your internet service provider (MSN, for example) about its policy on chatrooms. Are they moderated (monitored constantly) by fully trained adults to minimise the risk of bullying or abuse? It’s never a good idea to allow children on to unmoderated sites.
- Determine if your child’s school teaches pupils about internet safety.
- Don’t panic if you discover any record of inappropriate pictures or conversations on a computer after your child has used it. Talk to them if you’re worried and seek help if you’re not reassured by what they tell you.
Useful sources of information and advice include the NSPCC (0808 800 5000) and ChildLine (0800 1111). With your child look at the NCH Net Smart rules (visible at www.actionforchildren.org.uk) and agree with your child that they will stick to them.
Disclaimer: This information is provided for your general information only. The information contained on this site should not be treated as a substitute for legal or other professional advice. Carte Blanche Greetings is not responsible or liable for the contents of any websites of third parties which are listed on this site.