Ensuring Online Safety at The Gateway Academy: A Guide for Parents/ Carers
In our ever-connected world, the internet offers boundless opportunities for both entertainment and education. However, it's crucial to approach the online realm with caution to ensure a safe digital environment for your child. Here's a comprehensive guide tailored for parents/carers at The Gateway Academy:
Centralise Device Usage
- Ensure that laptops and computers are utilised in communal areas where screens are visible to all family members.
Charge Devices in Communal Areas
- Encourage your child to charge mobile devices downstairs, refraining from keeping them in bedrooms. This simple step helps maintain a level of supervision.
Safe Networking Practices
- Adjust privacy settings to "friends only" in the account settings.
- Caution against including sensitive information such as date of birth, address, or school name in the "About me" section of profiles on social media/ gaming and streaming platforms.
- Emphasise that online connections should be limited to individuals known in the real world, avoiding acceptance of friend requests from strangers or friends of friends.
Mindful Photo Sharing
- Instruct your child to share only photos they would be comfortable showing their grandparents.
- Advise against posting images featuring school badges, home exteriors, or holiday pictures with bathing suits.
- Foster open dialogues with your child about their online activities.
- Regularly enquire about their interactions, friends, and experiences in the digital space.
- Encourage them to share any concerns or uncomfortable situations.
Online Gaming Precautions
- Stress the importance of accepting friend requests only from real-world acquaintances.
- Educate your child about the potential for dishonesty and negativity in online interactions.
- Discourage moving to chat rooms with individuals met during online gaming.
- In the event of cyberbullying, advise your child not to respond to the abuser.
- Document instances of abuse for potential future investigations.
- Promptly report the issue to the school and/or the police.
- Be vigilant about what is visible via webcams, including personal information on certificates or posters.
- Highlight the potential risks of sharing too much information through webcams.
- Familiarise yourself with online safety resources on websites like:
- Explore informative leaflets on InternetMatters.org, covering topics such as social media guidance, screen time management, and online safety tips for different age groups.
By following these guidelines and maintaining an ongoing conversation with your child, you play a crucial role in creating a secure online environment at The Gateway Academy. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and empower your child to navigate the digital landscape responsibly.
Below are instances of assemblies and information that we have shared with your child: