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E - Safety for Parents

Here (Click the parent info logo above) you will find a collection of articles, tips, expert advice and resources designed to help parents keep up with what their children are doing on-line. 

NSPCC Share Aware

The NSPCC has launched a public education campaign, called Share Aware, to help parents keep their children safe online.

The campaign is aimed at parents and carers of children aged 8-12 - the age at which they start doing more online, become more independent and use a greater range of devices. The campaign aims to encourage parents and carers to understand online safety and to have conversations with their children about keeping safe.

Click the link below to go to:

NSPCC Share Aware

Click the link below to go to:

NSPCC fighting for Childhood

Some tips on how to protect your children, whilst allowing them to enjoy the many
educational and social benefits offered on the web:

  1. Settings/Search Engines - whether using Google, Bing, Yahoo or any other popular search engines, adjust the settings.  Once in the home page of the search engine (i.e. Google) select 'Settings' at the bottom right and 'Search Settings'. A new page will open, click on the box next to 'Filter explicit results'. Although this is not entirely foolproof, it should ensure that your children do not see images and content that are inappropriate.
  2. Children's account/personal devices - many computers/devices offer a parental control option in the Settings menu.  This will enable you to set up a children's user account on your computer/device.  A child's account is highly restricted, will only have the programs you choose and can also feature a time limit as to how long a child can use the computer or device for.
  3. Social Media accounts - if possible, discuss and ask your teenager to share access to their Facebook, WhatsApp and other social media sites.  Ask them to let you know the pass code for their smartphones. Compromise where possible and discuss how much time they may spend on their devices and whether they should be used in their bedrooms overnight.
  4. Facebook settings:  Change your security settings by selecting the Privacy Checkup option from the small padlock icon on the blue toolbar at the top of the Facebook home page.  Follow the series of steps that enable you to select the level of privacy you want - from 'Only Me' to 'Public'.  When finished, select Next Step.  Check the Apps Allowed from your Facebook account.  Every site will appear here and you can access the drop-down menu to see who has made posts made on your behalf.  You should change the access of ALL apps to 'Only Me' or 'Friends' or revoke apps you don't want any longer having access to your account.  Select Next Step to continue.  Check your Personal Data - you are sharing this with the world, so check whether this shows your email address, phone number etc. - most of this information should be kept private.  Select Finish.  On the toolbar at the top and click on the padlock - scroll down to "Who can contact me?".  Here you can control who can befriend you on Facebook.  Decide whether to share information with 'Friends of Friends' or just 'Friends'.  This menu gives the option to block certain people from befriending you.  Stay on the padlock to select 'See more setting', select "Who can look me up?" and "Do you want other search engines to link to your timeline?"  If you do not want your Facebook page to be seen by search engines such as Google and Bing, then select 'No' here.
  5.  Twitter settings:  Log into your Twitter account, and select your profile icon in the toolbar.  Select 'Settings', from the column on the left, select 'Security and Privacy'.  The first set of options relates to photo tagging (where people can name you if they post a photo on Twitter).  If you do not want to be named, then click on "Do not allow anyone to tag me in photos".  To protect your tweets so that they are only seen by the people who follow you, select "Settings", "Security and Privacy", "Tweet Privacy" and finally "Protect my tweets".  This is called a protected account, but it will not stop any of your approved followers from cutting and pasting your tweets, or taking screen grabs.  Remember the golden rule - if you want to keep something private, do NOT put it on the internet.  If you want your location to remain private, uncheck the box marked 'Add a location to my tweets'.  Finally, uncheck the two boxes marked 'email address' and 'phone number'.  This will enhance your privacy, but make it harder for people to find you.

General tips to prevent cybertheft:

  1. Passwords - do not use your mother's maiden name or pets name etc. These are too easy for cyberthieves to crack.  Create a password with lower and upper case letters, punctuation marks and numbers - i.e. Cyber!2468.  Do not use the same password for online shopping as you do your banking - if one of your shopping passwords is compromised, thieves will try to access your bank account hoping it is the same password.  
  2. Banking - never respond to any emails, click on any links or enter any of your account details - no matter how much the webpage or email looks realistic.  Call and check with your bank if it is something you are concerned about.    Fake webpages look very realistic and can lure you to enter your personal information.  Ensure the website address (url) begins with 'https' when you login (s = secure) and a small padlock is shown in the bottom right hand task bar.   Do not enter any private information if it shows only http: as the web address and if the padlock is not visible.  Check the web address (url) - if it is for a bank i.e. NatWest, the web address should match it i.e. www.natwest.com - if the address does not have this information, it is a fake site. Many criminals try and register sites that look very similar to the correct address but they often have common typing errors.  Check your bank account balance regularly and scan your recent transactions, so you will spot any fraudulent activity within 24 hours.  Consider subscribing if your bank offers a text message service that will send a daily balance to your mobile phone.
  3. Shopping - if you have never heard of a website before and it is offering amazing deals, think twice before trusting it with your credit or debit card details.  Search via Google/Bing etc. to research other people's experiences before entering personal information.  Never give your PIN number when you are shopping online - you only need the 3 digits on the reverse of the card you are using.  
  4. Did you know .... Adverts on the Internet have a mind of their own - sites 'watch' what you browse and work out what you like.  Most are harmless, but there are some shadowy companies that can misuse your information.  Tracking is done via 'cookies' - small packets of info sites sent to your browser - you are usually warned by EU websites if they are using cookies.  If you delete them after each session, you will see fewer personalised ads.  This information is mainly used to build profiles of web users, based on their browsing and purchase history and may be sold on to third parties.  Try to set up your browser to reveal as little information as possible and reduce tracking by deleting your history & cookies when you open and close a browser (see option in Security or Privacy page). Facebook 'likes' are used to provide advertising - not just on Facebook.  For safety, do not browse the net while logged in to Facebook or Google. Facebook also logs data from other apps on your phone too.  If a 'program' is free, it should ring alarm bells - often 'adware' is delivered as part of the 'free' software, with your consent buried deep in the small print.  Software such as Flash & Skype add toolbars, bookmarks and favourites to your browser. You can reset your browser, by searching 'reset browser' - Chrome, Firefox and Explorer have clear guides.