Online safety is a subject we are passionate about. We love the internet: it’s an incredibly powerful tool that enables people of all ages to work, play, learn and meet. Our students, who are based all over the world, use the internet daily to correspond with tutors, submit assignments, instantly access course resources, and more; we simply couldn’t do what we do without it.
But that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks to being online. It’s important to us that all of our students enjoy the benefits of the internet whilst feeling safe, so here are some tips and links about online safety for our homeschooling families:
Identifying the risks
There are four main C’s or types of risk to be aware of:
Content risks include material that is not age appropriate, is biased or untrue, or that might disturb or upset;
Commercial risks include advertising, in-game spending, personal data gathering, spam or scam emails;
Conduct risks include bullying, risky or illegal behaviour and posting inappropriate content online;
Contact risks refer to when someone targets another individual online in order to commit a crime or abuse them.
So how can I keep my child safe?
As long as you and your child are aware of the risks, and can talk openly about internet use and online safety, appropriate behaviour, and what to do if something bad happens, the internet should remain an exciting educational environment – not a threat.
These are our top tips for how to keep your child safe online:
- Talk about the internet with your child. Discuss your concerns and listen to any worries they have;
- Use filtering software – but don’t completely rely on it. Explain to your child why such software is in place;
- Make rules with your child and check back that they’re adhering to them;
- Make sure your child knows what to do if something goes wrong or if they feel uncomfortable.
Where can I get more information?
Childnet International provides internet online safety advice and resources for children and young people as well as parents, carers, teachers, and professionals.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has information, advice and resources about all online matters.
Parentport helps you report unsuitable online content, including advertisements and games.
Know the Net features advice, quizzes, tests, information on online etiquette, password advice, and more.
CEOP is where adults and children can report actual or attempted abuse online.
Have anything to add?
If you have any ideas or resources that you’ve found useful in dealing with online safety, or any experiences you’d like to share, please email us.