At Riverwalk school we take online safety very seriously, teaching our pupils and students within their PSHCE lessons how to be safe whilst they are online. Whilst at school our internet content is filtered using the SurfProtect content filtering system provided by our broadband provider Exa Networks and we also use ‘Impero Education Pro’ to help monitor pupils safety online. You can find out more about ‘Impero Education Pro’ by clicking on the logo to the right.
We encourage all parents that have internet access at home and use PCs, laptops, tablets and gaming machines to take advantage of the parental controls offered by most internal service providers which can help in filtering out inappropriate material, but remember this has to be switched on so please contact your ISP for details of how to do this. There are also parental controls that can be switched on for mobile phones should your child have access to a mobile phone with internet capabilities, again contact your mobile phone provider for details.
The UK Safer internet centre has a very good ‘Parent’s Guide to Technology’ which answer questions about new internet technologies, highlighting the safety tools available and giving parents the knowledge they need to support children to use these technologies safely and responsibly.
Should your ISP(Internet Service Provider) not provide parental controls or you don’t consider the filtering provided by your ISP as being enough there are various internet filtering software solutions available that you can install on a PC, laptop or tablet to prevent your child from being exposed to inappropriate material, most are paid for solutions but some of them are free. A quick internet search for ‘Parental control software’ will bring up a list and we suggest that you read the reviews before using them.
It is very important that you install on all of your devices and PCs at home some form of anti-virus/malware software. A lot of ISPs will offer this as standard as a download but they may not offer software that is for PCs running Mac OS. If your ISP doesn’t offer any anti-virus/malware software then you could always use SOPHOS Home which is free business-grade security for your home Macs and PCs.
There are a lot of things you can do do to prevent your child from accidentally being exposed to unsuitable material by encouraging them to use safe search facilities such as the Google Safe-search – This link will show you how to activate it on a PC, Tablet or Smartphone.
Alternatively you could set one of the following safe searches as your child’s homepage:
- Google Junior – Safe word search.
- primaryschoolict.com – Safe word, image and game search.
- uk.safesearchlive – Safe word search.
- safevideosearch.com – Safe video search.
YouTube is a great resource for information and for entertaining videos of your child’s favourite TV programmes. Unfortunately on the default YouTube homepage any searches could subject your child to unsuitable video material. You can turn on ‘Restricted mode’ for Youtube which will prevent your child from accidentally finding unsuitable YouTube videos and seeing any unsuitable comments. There is a very useful page here on the ‘Safe Search Kids’ site which explains in good detail how to turn on and lock ‘Restricted mode’ for YouTube.
Public WiFi is really useful when you are out and about but it is generally unfiltered; you, your children or your granny could access all sorts of inappropriate material. Next time you need a public WiFi network look out for the brightly coloured logo of ‘Friendly WiFi‘. Friendly WiFi is filtered WiFi, making it a safer option for everyone. Please make other parents and pupils aware of the logo and encourage everyone to have a happier web experience.
Think You Know
We would encourage all parents and careers to find out more about e-safety and how to keep their children safe on line. A good place to start is to visit the ‘Think You Know’ site which has a wealth of information and advice on online safety. There is a very useful set of videos which you can sit and watch with your child to help them understand how to remain safe online.
Online Safety Lead
Our Online Safety Lead for the school is Andrew Severn who is responsible for maintaining and monitoring online safety within the school. Should you have any questions or queries regarding online safety he will be more than willing to answer them. You can contact him via the main schools telephone number or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org