PARENTSAFE

Keeping your children safe: online & beyond

It's never easy to know how to keep our children safe when they aren't with us, and sometimes even when are, if we don't know what's happening on their devices. Who are they talking to, what are they doing, are they okay? If you need help to find some answers, don't despair...scroll through this page for help or click to go straight to the topics or help section.

This page is for parents - teachers wanting to support parents click here

TOP TIPS FOR PARENTS RIGHT NOW!

We think all parents (boys too!) will want to watch this Childnet video 'I want to tell you'. What might your children want to tell you but not know how? Also further advice for primary & secondary parents.

New campaign from the Internet Watch Foundation, raising awareness of how 11-13 year old girls are most at risk of being tricked or forced into taking nude images in their own bedrooms. Parent site & Girls site

From connected toys to sleep trackers, this spoof may make you laugh but will help you consider what devices to give your children and what to look out for. From the 5rights Twisted Toys campaign.

Catch up on our parent Facebook Lives with special guest experts on keeping children safe online...we're on Twitter too.

SAFE SETTINGS, CONTROLS & MONITORING

Apple, Android and Microsoft have tools to help you control what younger children can use and how long for. Click the images below for details. Once they are older and have your trust, the same tools can help avoid arguments and help them learn to self-regulate (how long have they really been on insta today? have they put down the phone at all in the last week?).

Apple Screen Time

Great for both parental controls and teen self-regulation

Google Family Link

Digital Wellbeing is the next step for the older ones after Family Link

Microsoft Family Safety

There are no self-regulation features for older teens, but Family Safety is great for the younger ones

NEW YouTube supervised mode for u13s

Previously, the only way to provide a safe YouTube experience at home was with YouTube Kids. Now, parents can use supervised mode even under 13s with different safety levels. Find out more / set it up now.

Other devices/systems: what about home or mobile internet connections, sim cards, phones, tablets, consoles, games & apps? Do they have controls too? For all of these, we recommend Internet Matters as a one-stop shop for easy-to-understand, step-by-step parent guides.

Monitoring: there are some monitoring tools, which send parents text and pictures their children and young people send or receive, but here are two less intrusive ones which offer support to the young person or only tell parents about general risk levels, trends and worrying changes.

No alerts to parents but instant support to the young person if they send or receive something worrying

This app works in the same way and also sends a general risk score to parents so they know when a conversation is needed (but it is not intrusive so no screenshots or text)

WHAT'S THAT APP ANYWAY?

What even is Fortnite (or Roblox...or Minecraft...)?

  1. The best way to find out is to get your child to show you how any app or game works, what happens and if it's appropriate. It could be quick, or you might even find you enjoy playing or watching together!

  2. Common Sense Media has thousands of expert reviews of apps, games and even films and what parents and children think about them. Take a look.

TALKING TO CHILDREN ABOUT LIFE ONLINE

It can be hard to talk to children and especially teens about their online lives, but it's so important. This is why:

So what can you do? We recommend a family agreement (example below) to make clear what is allowed...or not, how much time you can spend on devices, and ground rules like no phones at the table or in the bedroom at night-time. Watch the video with Will Ferrell to see why parents need to take part too! Shared expectations will reduce arguments and keep everyone safe & healthy.

You may find the Internet Matters parent-child quiz iPad app useful for its quiz that is fun and full of conversation starters.

Family agreement - whether for primary pupils' first steps or for teen powerusers

Thorn have 18 topic-based discussion guides with questions to help start conversations!

Can you watch this short Will Ferrell clip without laughing...or seeing yourself in it!

If you have an ipad, this quiz app is great for starting conversations

For primary pupils, these online safety reading books that cover important issues in an engaging and non-threatening way that may help you have conversations and uncover issues. And they are great fun to read, too!

SCREENTIME

Lots of parents worry about it, but we don't think you should worry about screentime - it's not how long they are online but what and when they are doing that counts (and the same goes for grown-ups, like in the Will Ferrell video above). You can use the control settings near the top of this page to regulate screen time in general and on specific apps, but beyond that we recommend you follow the Children's Commissioner's 'Digital 5 A Day' and help your children to aim for each of the targets in this pie chart ⤵

The UK Chief Medical Officers agree - check out their version of what counts.

TOP TOPICS (from porn to bullying, extremism & gangs, fake news & more)

We have selected our top two or three resources to help parents on six key themes, which we think are important to all families. Take a look and see what you think - even if you think it may not apply to you.

SEX & RELATIONSHIPS

This is obviously a massive topic, but to help parents talk to children about the issues, check out the new #AskTheAwkward campaign from NCA-CEOP, with videos and tips on how to have 'that' kind of conversation.

And from Thorn, this guidance on puberty and tech (for different age ranges from 4-6 to 13+ and beyond) is well worth a read

HELP & REPORTING

You can always speak to your child's school for advice, but there are many other places to go for help.

If you are worried about any child, call the NSPCC helpline. In an emergency, call 999.

But there are plenty of specialist helplines. Visit reporting.lgfl.net to find out how to remove content from social media and where to report bullying, racial hatred, terrorism, sexual abuse and more.

There are also links for children and young people to get help directly, such as Childline or The Mix (for 13-25s).

IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT US!

We think you should check out these amazing organisations which support parents and are bound to have something useful for you.

We love their newsletter

We love their app guides

We love their guidance

We love their parental control guides

We love their passion and expertise

MORE ABOUT LGfL

LGfL DigiSafe is a brand of LGfL - the National Grid for Learning. We may provide internet to your children's school, or web filtering, or low-cost devices to send home with students, or safeguarding guidance, or security products, or software licences, or curriculum support, or training, free-school meals checks or many other products and services.

Why not find out more at ngfl.net