New Year….New Gadgets…..New Worries?
Welcome back! I hope that you all had a good Christmas and have a happy New Year. With Christmas comes presents and these tend to be more and more technology based. The demand for phones, games consoles, apps and games becomes greater and greater each year as the children get older.
In light of this the staff, and some colleagues from other schools, spent the full INSET day learning about CEOP (a part of the National Crime Agency (NCA) who are committed to tackling sexual exploitation and abuse of children (CSEA) both online and offline) and the subsequent dangers and great positives that new technology and the internet bring. It is believed that 70% of our children’s future jobs have not even been thought of yet! That is the speed in which the technological world is growing.
We learnt all about CEOP and how to make a report to CEOP if your or your family come across something online that has made you worried or makes you feel unsafe. Do you know how to do this? Do you know what happens after you have reported something? If the answer is no….pop in and have a chat! Mr Petts is currently communicating with CEOP to enable us to put a report button on our website.
We then moved onto looking at young people online usage: What apps are they using? Why? What are the dangers of these apps? What are the age recommendations on these apps? What are the massive benefits of these apps and the internet in general? The session was by no means all doom and gloom, but did raise some interesting questions. Do you know what apps your children are on and, more importantly, have you used them yourself and thoroughly know exactly how they work? I personally came a bit unstuck on this question! Do you know where the privacy settings are? Have you set them with your child? Has your child turned them off the minute you have left the room? How often do you check? A lot of technology usage is based on trust and mutual respect of family guidelines and this is exactly how it should be. However, is your child of the correct age to be using these apps? The age limit is there for a reason….do you know what that reason is? Do you know that once you have posted images to Facebook or Instagram that those companies then own your images? This means that they can sell an image of your children or family on to companies to use in their own advertising, whether you want them to or not, whether you agree with the companies ethics or not, etc.
The same messages came out during discussions about online gaming and how widespread the usage is amongst primary-age children. Most of these games have an age restriction on them, again for very valid reasons. A recent post on the internet made a very valid point of if parents wouldn’t buy their child an 18+ inappropriate sexual video, then why are they buying them 18+ inappropriate games to play on that contain sexual scenes? It does make you think, doesn’t it?
Again, just pop in if you would like to know more about the different apps available and their benefits or dangers OR read the really detailed information on the school website under the E-Safety tab.
We finished the day learning all about nude selfies or images that are self produced where the children are naked or semi-naked. Research says that pictures are now viewed by young people as the ‘normal’ thing to do and ‘don’t mean anything’. The difficulties arise when other young people decide to forward them on to peers or share them in any way. Did you know that it is illegal for anyone to post semi-naked or nude pictures under the age of 18? If someone then shares them or forwards them on, then they are distributing images and again breaking the law?
The NSPCC has some good information about this area of cyber safety.
Personally, I came away feeling very worried about my child and the world we live in! However, the greatest way to keep our children safe is to educate them and be strong in following age restrictions etc. All children will try to get away with what they think they can do – let’s face it………we did!!! If an environment is created where young people know they can ask for help, if they do do something daft, then we can help them. If they keep it secret, we can’t.