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Safer Internet message to parents /carers

Dear Parents/Carers,

Safer Internet Day 2020 was celebrated around the world on Tuesday 11th February 2020.

Arco Academy kicked off the day on the 11th by having an assembly based on online safety.  Myth or Fact?

The global theme for safer internet day is ‘together for a better internet’ and this year in the UK we focused on how young people explore and express their identity online.

Everyone has their part to play in making the internet a better place, including you!

Advice for parents:-

1. Free to talk

Talk regularly with your child about how they use technology. Find out how they like to represent and express themselves online, and how being online makes them feel. Listening to your child will give you the best possible idea of how you can support them. Not sure where to begin? Have a look at our suggested ‘Conversation Starters‘ for parents and carers.

2. Free to explore differences

The internet is a place where lots of different people can communicate and come together. For some children, the first place they see people who are different to them may be online. For others, the internet may be the one place where they can find people similar to them. Acknowledge the different types of identities your child may see online, and use these to spark discussions around diversity and inclusivity. Talk to your child about being respectful to everyone online, and what to do if they feel their own identity is being targeted. Use our ‘Quick Activities‘ as a family this Safer Internet Day to help you unpick this topic together.

3. Free to make the internet work for your family

There are lots of tools to help you manage the devices used by your family. For example, knowing how to activate and use parental controls can help protect your child from seeing inappropriate content online. For advice and guidance on how to make use of parental controls and other safety features on devices, check out our free Parents’ Guide to Technology.

4. Free to get involved

As parents and carers, it’s natural to feel worried about the risks posed by your child being online, but for young people the internet offers a wealth of exciting and fun ways to explore and experiment with their identity. This might be through the characters they choose on games, the filters or emojis they use on profile pictures, the content they share, or the sites and services they use. Spend some time with your child looking at, or interacting with, the things they do online. Talk about both the positive and negative aspects of being online, and empower your child with safe choices they can make – instead of overwhelming them with restrictions.

5. Free to seek help and support

It can sometimes feel like young people are the experts in all things digital but remember – you are the life experts. Find out how to get more support by visiting Childnet’s ‘Need Help?‘ page. You can take steps to support your child online by using features such as privacy settings on social media and understanding how to make a report on a range of apps, games and services.

Just as we tell young people to talk about what they are unsure of, make sure you do too! Chances are that you’ll find other parents or carers who are trying to figure out how to make the internet work for their family! You don’t need to know all the answers straightaway but reassure your child that you can figure it out together. Maybe there isn’t an answer, but what your child is looking for is comfort.

We teach our students how to stay safe online in school. It is important that you also talk to your child about how to stay safe online. Here are some other useful tips and useful links for you and your children:-

  • Use strong passwords
  • Set up 2-factor authentication
  • Keep your apps and devices safe and up to date
  • Make sure you log out when you’re using public or shared devices
  • Be careful which websites you’re using
  • Do not share the wifi passwords with your children’s friends

Please do not hesitate to contact Jacqui our Designated Safeguarding Lead for further support or advice on talking to your child about internet safety.  Sit and talk to your children by watching some of the videos online.

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