The role of parents in ensuring the safety of your son or daughter online is becoming increasingly important. However we realise that the technology changes very quickly and your children will often be more confident in using the social networking websites etc than you are. We also realise that there is a fine line as a parent between checking and monitoring the use of the internet with your child and invading their privacy. At St Michael’s we would ask you to have regular conversations and agreed monitoring of how your son or daughter uses social networking to help us combat and avoid problems arising from the use of these websites.
The purpose of this page is to
give you some information about how students use the internet
provide you with some tips about what you can do to help your son/ daughter stay safe
provide you with links about where to find more information
inform you about the education students receive at school in relation to eSafety
CEOP's Advice Centre and for reporting abuse
How Students Use the Internet
For many students, social networking is now one of the main ways of connecting with their friends when they leave school. They can chat individually to their friends or in groups. A major problem of students socialising in this way is that they have access to these websites 24 hours a day and can post/ message friends very quickly. This often leads to students posting comments they may later regret. It also allows students to react to situations whilst:
Facebook – Posting pictures of themselves, sending messages, instant chat, status updates and commenting on the updates of others.
Twitter – Posting updates and posting comments about others. Tweets not only shown to friends but to anyone who wants to follow you.
Little Gossip – A site where you can post or search for gossip about someone at a school or Uni. This is anonymous.
Ask.fm– Operating from abroad so do not need same rules as UK. Students post questions about themselves or others and people respond. This website is anonymous and we would recommend that your son/daughter does not use it.
Chat Roulette – You switch on your webcam and then the roulette wheel spins. You do not know who will appear on your screen and who you are going to speak to until a picture of them appears. You can then chat to this person or reject them and the process starts again.
Formspring – Students can post thoughts on anything anonymously
BBM/ Whatsapp – Allows students to create and join groups about any given subject and add their own updates on the subject
Sexting – Sending sexual content in text messages and pictures of themselves in a state of undress. We have had problems in school where students have done this and then the pictures have been passed around.
SnapChat – This allows a student to send a picture to another student. However the picture only stays on the screen for a set amount of time. We think this promotes students to participate in sexting without thinking about the consequences.
You tube videos – Many students are now setting up own You Tube channels. Some may not include suitable videos for school or themselves.
What you can do
There is no hard and fast rules about what you should and should not do to support your son/ daughter online. We believe it is all about communication and checking. We would ask you to
Check what information your child has on their profile.
Check that your child has all their profile settings to friends only/ Private.
Agree a set of rules around how the internet should be used and how you will check.
Have a discussion and check on an ongoing basis the use of social networking etc.
Ensure that your son/daughter is confident about how to report a problem.
Websites and More Information
There are lots of websites online to provide you with tips, you should also receive the “Digital Parenting” guide from school.
A Parent's Guide to Instagram
http://www.cncs.co.uk/esafety/Vodafone-Digital-Parenting.pdf (This is a link to the Digital Parenting Magazine if you did not get one)
Acceptable Use Policy
Please click on the link below to view on the student "Acceptable Use Policy" (AUP) that each student reads and accepts before they are able to access our network: