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e-Safety Advice and Information

We need to listen to, empower and support young people to understand and manage risks and make the digital world safer. However, we must acknowledge that we cannot make the internet completely safe. Because of this, we must also build children’s resilience to the material to which they may be exposed, help build their confidence and skills to manage situations…..and empower them to support each other”
Dr Tanya Byron: The Virtual Violence Report for the Beatbullying charity

 

Children and young people growing up in the digital world use the internet as an everyday social utility, to communicate and to organize their lives. Technology and the internet also offer enormous opportunities to transform the lives and learning of children and young people for the better; to discover, connect and create. However, while children and young people should be empowered to use the internet responsibly, adults have a responsibility to ensure that children and young people are aware of the risks, and that they are in the best possible position to keep themselves safe online. It is very important that adults try to keep up with internet-enabled technology and the ways in which children and young people inhabit the online world, even if it is different to the ways in which adults use the same technology.

The best way to protect children online is through education and conversation with them.  Knowing that they can come to you or another trusted adult is the best way to keep them safe.

For general e-safety information and advice :

All applications have a support, help and safety area eg. www.facebook.com/safety to help with privacy settings, to block and report unwanted contacts.

For information on specific e-safety related topics please click the links below:

 

Commercialisation

Accepting or sharing files which may contain viruses or spyware – for example, free music file sharing applications 

Effects

  • Can lead to webcams being hacked and published
  • Can lead to others being able to access personal or sensitive information, both of the child and of other people who may use the computer.

Sources of help

All computers should have anti-virus programs and firewalls set to prevent unauthorised access

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Conduct / Behaviour

Once content is posted online it becomes part of your digital footprint and can have far reaching effects in the future. Young people should be encouraged to become good digital citizens.

Effects

  • Prejudice driven abuse and malicious communications e.g. homophobia, inciting violent extremism
  • Reputational risk: posting inappropriate content online may become public and permanent.
  • Further education institutes, or job providers, are increasingly checking informal information, such as Facebook profiles, when assessing a persons application for work or training

Sources of help

If you think a child is at immediate risk call 999

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Cyber-bullying

Intentionally harming others online.

  • The impact is hurtful and distressing to those targeted and, depending on the severity of the behaviour, could constitute illegal activity
  • Impossible to control once it has been posted, the harmful impact on the target is amplified and the perpetrators reputation and unpleasant behaviour may be permanently recorded, like a ‘cyber tattoo’
  • Cyberbullying can differ from other forms of bullying as it can be a constant intrusion into young people’s lives

Effects

  • Children and young people can also be the perpetrators of cyber-bullying or abusive behaviour online
  • research suggests that around 60% of children and young people have experienced cyber-bullying

Sources of help

Most cyberbullying can be effectively dealt with if abusive messages or content are saved, or printed, as evidence.

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Explicit content sites 

Accessing inappropriate material including:

  • Pornography
  • Radicalisation / Terrorist Material
  • Pro-Suicide
  • Pro- Eating Disorders
  • Drugs
  • Self-Harm
  • Violence

Effects

  • Sites may contain illegal material
  • May cause distress
  • May promote premature engagement in sexualised behaviour
  • May promote unhealthy or dangerous behaviour

Sources of help

Controls may be provided by the internet provider for filtering, however these are not 100% guaranteed.

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Gaming

The increase of gaming online. Players are able to communicate with one another. Graphics are now life-like making it hard to differentiate between reality and the game.

Effects

  • May have adult or older teen ratings, but they often attract much younger players
  • Contain large communities of young people who can talk to each other, and a user may potentially become vulnerable to direct contact from predators. Typical tactics to establish relationships of trust include admiring other players techniques, offering cheats and tips, and in some cases offering ‘gifts’ in return for playing on the same team, or with each other
  • Other problematic behaviour includes ‘griefing’ – aggressive or abusive behaviour in a game – or cyberbullying, involving the ridicule of other players, often by re-posting game footage onto other applications, such as You Tube
  • Addiction, leading to losing the sense of priorities and an over-dependence on their online persona
  • Change of behaviour, health and welfare
  • Increased risk of gambling and financial loss

Sources of help

  • The PEGI (Pan-European Game Information) age rating system may help adults make informed choices when buying or allowing access to interactive games (www.pegi.info)
  • The ESRP (Entertainment Software Rating Board) ratings are designed to provide information about the content in computer and video games in two parts: rating symbols that suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors. Neither standard is helpful in games where players can generate content themselves
  • CEOP (www.Thinkuknow.co.uk)
  • Safer Internet (www.saferinternet.org)

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Location Based Services

New technology enables devices to be located by GPS. Presenting a risk of users being tracked.

Effects

  • Possibility of being found by an unwanted contact.
  • (see grooming)

Sources of help

Devices GPS can be disabled via settings.

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Sexting

Sexting is when somebody uses their mobile to send an inappropriate text or image to other people.

Effects

  • Legal implications
  • Reputational risk: posting inappropriate content online may become public and permanent
  • Further education institutes, or job providers, are increasingly checking informal information, such as Facebook profiles, when assessing a persons application for work or training

Sources of help 

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Unwanted Contact / Grooming

A process by which a person prepares a child, significant others and the environment for the abuse of this child. Specific goals include gaining access to the child, gaining the child’s compliance and maintaining the child’s secrecy to avoid disclosure.

  • children talk about more private things online than face to face
  • Risks of disclosing personal information i.e. names, ages, addresses, details of schools attended – including identifiable photos, or personal passwords.

Effects

  • Contact from unknown / unwelcome people
  • Accepting ‘friends’ who may not be who they say they are. These may, occasionally, be sexual predators, aiming to groom children, sometimes with the intention of meeting them offline.
  • May also be people using the internet to threaten, intimidate or bully.

Sources of help

All applications have a support, help and safety area eg. www.facebook.com/safety to help block and report unwanted contacts.

If you think a child is at immediate risk call 999

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ThinkUKnow – BSCB Trainer Register

Many professionals and volunteers from across the children’s workforce would benefit from basic e-Safety awareness training. The BSCB has compiled a register of people who have undertaken the CEOP Ambassador training and who would be available to train at multi-agency basic awareness courses across the county. Some are also able to offer sessions to children and young people. Please contact them direct to check if they would be able to assist you in this area – CEOP – ThinkUKnow Trainer Register

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