Fairford Primary School

Online Safety

Being online is an integral part of children and young people’s lives. Social media, online games, websites and apps can be accessed through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – all of which form a part of children and young people’s online world.

The internet and online technology provides new opportunities for young people’s learning and growth, but it can also expose them to new types of risks.

The information and links available on this page aim to provide you with up to date recommendations and support for when your children use the internet in its varying forms.

Recommendations from the local Gloucestershire Constabulary Schoolbeat team

General Internet Password security:

During lockdown, there has been a national rise in the number of instances of phishing scams recorded. Because of this, it is now advised that you consider updating your passwords. A strong passwords should now be 12 – 16 characters long (we recommend they are made up of 3 or 4 words chosen at random) and each account should use a different password. This simple step can help prevent daisy chain attacks where offenders break one password and then have access to all that persons accounts due to a recurring password.

Social Media:

In recent years there has been an increase in the number of children who have social media accounts. The local Gloucestershire Constabulary advices that pupils adhere to the age limits of Social Media apps including Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter. All of these social media sites and apps have an age limit of 13 years old.
However, if, with parental supervision, your child does have access to an account with one of these providers, the local Constabulary always advices that in the settings parents and carers select friends only, accepting invites from children who they know and trust in real life, as well as being approved by parents and carers. In addition, parents and carers should always remind children to not reveal any personal information or location details by utilising services such as Ghost Mode if on Snap Maps.
If parents or carers have doubts regarding an apps suitability, then, there a number of sites which can help including App Reviews – Kids Apps | Common Sense Media.

Online Gaming:

Parents and carers should always know their children’s passwords, to help remember all passwords they can use a Password Manager Service.

When gaming children should utilise ‘Two Factor Authentication’ as an extra layer of security. This can be set up on Playstation and Xbox. Children should play games suited to their ages as defined by PEGI. A number of sites provide further reviews of game suitability Game Reviews – Kids Games | Common Sense Media and Home (askaboutgames.com).

On apps and when gaming, Privacy Settings should be used, with the option ‘Friends Only’ selected and these should be friends who children know and trust in real life, as well as approved of by parents and carers. Gamers should ensure that their Usernames do not reveal personal information and so, similar to passwords they should be chosen using words chosen at random.

Whether gaming or on apps, children should be wary of not revealing personal information and have a clear understanding of what personal information would be. Sometimes small amounts of personal information gets revealed over a period of time, for example when playing online over a few weeks through direct chat or messaging. On many games Chat functions can be turned off.

Linked to many games is the capacity for ‘In app purchases’, some children have been able to run up big bills, so it is important that parents and carers are vigilant to the capabilities of different apps and the access children may have to financial accounts.

Supporting Parents:

O2 & the NSPCC have launched a helpline which Parents and Carers can ring for guidance on setting up Parental Controls and other online safety advice. You do not need to be an O2 customer to access the helpline 0808 800 5002.

The following website links can help you support you and your children – offering advice on best practise when using the internet and online services:

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Think U Know Education Team have put together guides specifically aimed at helping parents and carers support children working from home to use technology safely.

Think U Know Online Safety At Homework activities

This leaflet can support parents in discussing online sexual abuse with their children:
Parents’ Leaflet

‘SelfieCop is a useful tool to help parents safeguard their children’s online activities.’ (Andrew Jackson, AntiBullying Co-ordinator, ISPCC)
SelfieCop FAQs
SelfieCop Poster 1
SelfieCop Poster 2

Safer Internet Day:

Advice, activities and support to help parents and carers talk to their children about internet safety.

How to keep your child safe on YouTube:
YouTube Safety Factsheet