The internet is such an integral part of children's lives these days. It opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences.
Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.
As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so – particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.
So, how can you protect your child online?
The answer is simple. If you understand the internet and understand what the risks are, there are a number of things you can do that will make your child safer online...
Each class has a class pet, a soft toy called “Smartie the Penguin” who lives in their classrooms next to their computer. We read stories about his adventures which all basically help children to make the right choices and stay safe online. If you would like to read some of these stories with your child, have a look at the material available at http://www.childnet.com/resources/smartie-the-penguin They are specially designed for the 3-7 age group, so are perfect for our children. (Click here to go straight to the story which the children read in school.) This is the song they sing to remember about safety online:
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We hope that their class pet will help to remind the children about internet safety.
Even though our children are very young, it is good practice to get them into safe habits from a young age. For example, don't let them accept "friends" they don't know on popular websites like Club Penguin and Moshi Monsters and keep login details anonymous. Let them know why.
To find out more information about e-safety, please follow one of these links: