Online Safety - Support & Advice

Gaming gone mobile
Pokemon Go launched in the UK this month and it looks set to be a summer craze!

Alan Earl, Harm Reduction Officer, from UK Safer Internet Centre partners, the South West Grid for Learning, explains a bit more about the app, the risks and what parents can do to avoid them.  

What is Pokemon Go?

Pokemon Go is an app enabling users to create a character (any name) and partake in a mobile version of the Pokemon game made popular through Nintendo.

Once created the app uses Geo Location enabled through the phone to identify the users location. A map is then provided which shows nearby Pokemon. The basic premise of the game is to walk or ride towards the Pokemon in order to capture it and increase your game status. Capture is achieved by throwing a virtual ball on screen at the character, some of which are harder to catch than others.

The risks and what you can do to avoid them

Although new and still developing in the UK the media as always is keen to point out the darker issues and incidents when describing news stories.

The game itself is hugely entertaining and immersive and provides the opportunity for parents to engage with their children outside the home with technology. Herein lies the option to encourage children out of their bedroom into the real world for some exercise whilst still being able to use gaming technology.

Some of the early issues identified are likely to be around environment awareness. It is very easy to become totally absorbed in capturing that elusive Pokemon but not being aware of the lamppost you are about to walk into or the ditch you have veered towards. Already there are badge of pride postings on social media of 'Go' players who have injured themselves in this and similar ways. Wise maybe to talk to your children about heads up regularly during play.

Stanger danger messages are still applicable and teaching children not to be frightened but wary of strangers can be difficult in this setting. The context of meeting someone at a Gym may give a child a feeling of safety within the Pokemon community that does not exist. Great to have a conversation around this and how care needs to be taken wherever you are. Especially in view of the fact that users can purchase Lure Modules  these enable users to attract more Pokemon characters to their set location (acts like incense to the characters) therefore encouraging more people to the venue. Keep those messages going.

Finally, people looking at screens in public areas like shopping centres is not something new and is a regular sight. Small groups of children running around quiet cul-de-sacs phone in hand shouting about Squirtles, Vulpix and Jigglypuffs may cause some consternation and concern from different quarters. Maybe we need to discuss this with our children and explain how being sensitive to their surrounding can help them avoid some problems.

As with all new technology there will be a period of re adjustment and understanding. Rather than allowing the media to show us horror stories about the new technology. Now is the time to look at it ourselves and then have open conversations with our children. As with everything a set of rules and honest conversation will avoid many of the issues and allow your children to enjoy what is an engaging and fun game whilst avoiding some of the pitfalls. In this case many of the rules you already teach are hugely applicable here. Taking care around strangers whether Pokemon players or not. Considering and being aware of the dangers of your physical locality and considering the concerns of others whilst engaged in playing the game will be a start on dealing with the fallout from Pokemon Go. As the game develops and more is known I am sure the makers and Online safety experts everywhere will be able to point to coping mechanisms if necessary. 

Read more:  http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/news/pokemon-go-gaming-gone-mobile

http://www.nottinghamshire.police.uk/news/2016-07-15/pok%25C3%25A9mon-go-release-prompts-police-online-safety-reminder

 

Online Safety Parent/Carer Evening

Thank you to everyone who attend and who helped deliver the Online Safety evening on March 16th 2016 by Alan McKenzie - E-Safety Adviser. The feedback about the
event has been very positive.

online safety parents march 2016

Further supportive information is also contained on the Academy's website for your convenienece and support. Please find below two links for access to a Newsletter and Parent Website provided by the E-Safety Adviser, Mr. Alan McKenzie.  This will give you further information regarding E-Safety.

http://www.esafety-adviser.com/newsletter/

http://www.parentsonlinesafety.com/

In response to parents asking about locking safe search, the following settings pages and guides may be useful:

Turning safe search on - http://www.google.com/preferences

Google family safe centre - http://www.google.com/goodtoknow/familysafety/tools/

Guide for safe search settings, including on mobile devices - https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/510?hl=en&rd=3

Parents and carers can access the film directly at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents. I hope you find this informative as with the rise of the selfie has come growing concern about young people taking and sharing revealing photos or videos and this has recently been covered in the media.

TVA provides training and support to parents about E-Safety.  Dates for parent E-Safety sessions will be advertised on the website and via E-mail, text and post. Click here for the events diary. Should you require any further support please contact Mrs T Meeks - Deputy Headteacher - tmeeks@topvalleyacademy.org.

Families can visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off. Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as: challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours; helping a child with autism negotiate life online; supporting a child who has been sexually abused; and dealing with a range of online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography. Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations. 

Families can also use the website to access the CEOP Safety Centre (www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre) where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to CEOP.

Cybercrime: Preventing young people from getting involve

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has launched a public awareness campaign to highlight the increasing number of young people engaging in cybercrime.

The #CyberChoices campaign targets parents of 12-15 year olds who may be involved in hacking or other kinds of online crime without their parents' knowledge. The campaign, also aimed at professionals who work with children and young people, highlights the range of criminal activities that children may be involved in, how to spot signs of potential problems, what the consequences could be and importantly, signposts better ways for young people to use their technical skills.

For further information about cybercrime, and to watch the short film produced for the campaign, visit www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/news/765-campaign-targets-uk-s-youngest-cyber-criminals 

For advice from the NCA on how to help young people avoid the risks of getting involved in cybercrime, and how to work with parents and carers on this issue visit: www.nationalcrimeagency.gov.uk/crime-threats/cyber-crime/cyber-crime-preventing-young-people-from-getting-involved

Useful Websites

02 Parents - http://www.o2.co.uk/parents

Think You Know - http://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/

Childnet - http://www.childnet-int.org/

Staying safe online - http://www.swgfl.org.uk/staying-safe

Direct.gov.uk Advice - http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/YoungPeople/CrimeAndJustice/KeepingSafe/DG_10027670

Child Exploitation and Online Protection - http://www.ceop.police.uk/

 

Safer Internet Day 2016

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised by Insafe in February of each year to promote safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones, especially amongst children and young people across the world.

Safer Internet Day 2016 will be celebrated on 9 February 2016. The strapline for the campaign is "Play your part for a better internet".

 

Safer Internet Day 2016

                        Safer Internet Day 2015

Let's create a better internet together

Safer InternetDay is a truly collaborative campaign, and at the UKSafer InternetCentre we want to help all of our partners to help to spread the word. We know that many schools put on a variety of activities to equip their students as well as to support promoteSafer InternetDay. If you're looking to promote your schools' activities you might like to use the template press release below to contact your local paper and help spread the word.

Top Valley Academy is supporting Safer Internet Day 2015

Top Valley Academy is joining hundreds of other organisations across the UK in celebrating Safer Internet Day and promoting the safe and responsible use of technology.

Safer Internet Day 2015 is on Tuesday 10th February 2015, with the theme 'Let's create a better internet together', offering the opportunity to focus on both the creative and positive things that children and young people are doing online, as well as the role that we all play in helping to create a better internet. 

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading charitable organisations; Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). These organisations are committed to working to make a safer and better internet. All partners recognise the unparalleled opportunities the internet offers and actively encourage its positive use for social, leisure, economic and educational advancement. The partners all work to make the Internet a great and safe place for children.  The UK Safer Internet Centre is online at www.saferinternet.org.uk

Safer Internet Day 2014

Let's create a better internet together

Top Valley Academy is supporting Safer Internet Day Tuesday 11th February 2014

Safer Internet Day 2014 Small               UK Safer Internet Centre

Top Valley Academy is joining hundreds of other organisations across the UK in celebrating Safer Internet Day and promoting the safe and responsible use of technology.

The Safer Internet Day 2014 theme  is 'Let's create a better internet together', offering the opportunity for Top Valley Academy students to  focus on both the creative things that young people are doing online, as well as the role that we all play in helping to create a better internet.  

Safer Internet Day (SID) is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre in February of each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.

Safer Internet Day 2014 is on, with the theme 'Let's create a better internet together'.

The UK Safer InternetCentre is a partnership of three leading charitable organisations, Childnet International, the South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) and the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). These organisations are committed to working to make a safer and better internet. All partners recognise the unparalleled opportunities the internet offers and actively encourage its positive use for social, leisure, economic and educational advancement. The partners all work towards the Childnet target; to make the Internet a great and safe place for children.  The UK Safer Internet Centre is online at www.saferinternet.org.uk.

Stay Safe

The Internet is such an integral part of pupil's lives and opens up many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences.

At Top Valley Academy we work to ensure every pupil understands the risks and is fully equipped with the skills to enable them to make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so. As Parents, you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe when using the internet and this needs to be supported when they are at home.

click links below for futher information:

Safer Internet Day 2013 at TVA

Year 7 E-Safety training

Some simple steps adults can take at home to help their child be safe online:

1.     Know what your child is doing online and who they are talking to.

2.     Help your child to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.

3.     Explain to your child what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, Academy name, sports club, arrangements for meeting up with friends and any pictures or videos of themselves, their family or friends. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.

4.     Make your child aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.

5.     It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as result sometimes young people engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your child not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.

6.     If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.

7.     It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain-it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.

8.     Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.

9.     Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

10.   Make your child aware of the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) button on most sites to report any worrying behavior whilst online.

            (source: thinkyouknow.co.uk)

Follow these step-by-step guides, from Vodaphone, so you can make the most of some of the safety and privacy tools available, including BlackBerry® Parental Controls and Facebook privacy controls.

Vodaphone Digital Parenting Magazine

Childnet online website

Kidsmart website

CEOP Website

Safer Internet Day

 

Families can visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off. Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as: challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours; helping a child with autism negotiate life online; supporting a child who has been sexually abused; and dealing with a range of online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography. Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations. Families can also use the website to access the CEOP Safety Centre (www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre) where they can report abuse and exploitation direct to CEOP.

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