Earlier this year a national online-safety survey of pupils all around the UK. (40,000 pupils) took place and the results have recently been published pupilsurvey.lgfl.net
There were many interesting findings, but one which was striking was that 73% of children and young people trust their parents to talk about online safety, but only just over half spoke to them about it once a year or more. Equally, 2 in 5 pupils have never told anyone about the worst thing that has happened to them online.
We talk about staying safe online and offline throughout the school year, but we would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to use the summer holidays as an opportunity to talk to your children about what they do online. The survey revealed many worrying findings but also many positives, so why not get involved and share some online experiences with your children this summer.
There are many scary stories in the press about particular apps, but it is important to remember that bad things can happen on good apps, so it is not a good idea to ban particular apps (age-rated games are different – the age ratings are there for a reason), but to talk to them about their behaviour online. Young children can be tricked into getting changed or undressed on camera, and the survey revealed worrying statistics about how often this happens, so without going into too much detail, it might be wise to talk about do’s and don’t’s on camera.
Here are some ideas for help and support over the holidays:
- If you need general online safety advice or help with parental control settings for your home internet or devices, why not call the NSPCC / O2 parent online-safety helpline on 0808 800 5002.
- There is an excellent tablet app from Internet Matters built to help parents have a conversation about online safety with their children. Just search Internet Matters on the app store
- Search NSPCC NetAware on the app store for an excellent ‘app about apps’ with overviews of all the top sites, apps and games that your children play (but ask them first for an overview!).
- Look at parentsafe.lgfl.net to find links to all the above, plus family agreements (maybe avoid some arguments!), the latest screen time advice (there is screen time and screen time – you may be worrying too much) and more besides.
The survey revealed that family, friends and fun were three things that children and young people love online, so we wish you lots of all three together over the summer holidays.