Here at Penponds we take online safety extremely seriously.
It can all be a bit of a minefield, both in keeping up with your child's IT habits and skills and navigating what's appropriate and what's not on the great world wide web. We thought a few pointers might come in useful for our parents so below is a wealth of information that we keep regularly updated.
Research in America has identified potential warning signs for children with obsessive internet use as detailed in brief below.
- Loses track of time while online
- Sacrifices needed hours of sleep to spend time online
- Becomes agitated or angry when online time is interrupted
- Becomes irritable if not allowed to access the internet
- Prefers to spend time online rather than with friends or family
Five things parents should consider when buying games consoles:
- Age appropriateness: some games consoles have a greater number of games suitable for younger children - Nintendo, 3DS and Wii U
- Online purchases: prevent children from accidentally buying a game or spending money through in-game purchasing
- Multiplayer networks: use parental controls settings to avoid children playing against people they don't know
- Parental controls: set up parent controls straight away to ensure your child doesn't access inappropriate content
- Standby mode: turn devices off so that they do not remain connected to the internet and download content when they are not in use
iPhones & Apps
As more and more children of primary age have access to smartphones, or even own their own, being savvy on the latest social networking sites is crucial to protect your child from inappropriate material for their age group.
Apps such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Snapchat all have age limits on them specific to their platform. Please ensure you check these before letting your child have access, as some content can be considered inappropriate.
We've pulled together some useful links below for parents to help support their child using an Android or iPhone safely and responsibly. Remember you can also contact your mobile provider for further advice and information about parental controls.
Childline: If someone is upsetting you, making you feel uncomfortable you can talk to someone in confidence by contacting childline.
You can call ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111 to speak to a counsellor. Calls are free and confidential. Or click the link for further details:
NSPCC: If you have concerns about a child's safety and wellbeing, including a child in your own family, you can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0800 800 5000, by text 88858 or By email - firstname.lastname@example.org Or click the link for further details:
CEOP - Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: If someone has acted inappropriately online towards you, or someone you know and to report abuse.
Thinkyouknow: Find out what's good on the internet, what's not and what you can do about it. Resources and games for parents, teachers and children of all ages.
Music, Film, TV and the Internet: Guide for Parents and Teachers on safe access to digital media.