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Online Safety & Gaming Support

The internet can be a wonderful source of information and entertainment when used safely and appropriately. It is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, however parents and carers need to be aware of the potential risks and dangers. 

The internet can be accessed from smart phones, tablets, laptops, chrome books, and games consoles such as Xbox and Playstation, where players can communicate with each other. Whilst using these gadgets is second nature for many children and young people, they can seem quite daunting for parents or carers who may not be as technologically savvy. 

Parents and carers should monitor their children’s internet usage and use the information below to support them in keeping their children safe. 

Top Tips for keeping your children safe online

  • Talk to your children about what they are looking at, what games they are playing, and who they are talking to online;

  • Remind them of the importance of not talking to or accepting friend requests from people they don’t know in real life;

  • Set parental controls and privacy settings so that you can see and control what your child or young person is doing online via their device;

  • Alert children and young people to the dangers of paying for games and other purchases online, and ensure that they only use credit cards or other payment methods with adult supervision;

  • Encourage them to keep all personal information such as passwords, phone numbers, friend, school address details private;

  • Remind them that people might not be who they say they are online.  It is very easy for people to set up accounts, with fake names, identities and photos, to make us all believe that they are someone they are not;

  • Warn them that the things they write and the photos they post online might be accessed by people other than their friends, if they don’t keep their accounts private;

  • Highlight the risks of meeting people in person that your child only knows online;

  • Be alert to the child or young person becoming withdrawn, unhappy, fearful or irritable, or using devices during the night – these could be signs of online bullying, financial difficulties due to paying for games, sexual exploitation or gaming addictions;

  • Discuss how some games and websites begin with no payments and then progress to requiring finances to access higher levels. Then it can be hard to stop playing.

  • Try to encourage internet use in the home family living space, rather than in bedrooms and without supervision, or at night.

  • Make sure your child knows the risks of engaging in cyberbullying; there are long lasting implications for the victim and it can be reported to the police which can have implications for the person sending abusive messages 

 

Information provided by Kingston LSCB

SelfieCop is an App that teaches children to STOP-&-THINK before sharing a photo or video online. For more information visit the SelfieCop website 

You can report online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online through CEOP here 

Find out more here:

  • Young Minds have a helpline for parents.

  • Snapchat Guide for Parents from The National Online Safety Team,

  • Childnet International has video guides about setting up parental controls, which might be helpful when trying to reduce a child’s exposure to gambling sites (though worth bearing in mind there are ways round them, and not always 100% effective).

  • Information on how to setup

  • Helpful internet support from ‘Think you Know’.

  • Internet Matter support families in keeping their children safe online

  • Most importantly, families can speak to their child’s school and GP about mental health services and other support that might be available. More details for support can also be found here 

 

What is CEOP?

CEOP stands for Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre; their job is to protect young people from abuse on the internet. They provide help, advice and a way of reporting service- look out for this button 




Always call 999 in an emergency.