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E-Safety - Keeping your child safe online

We take safeguarding and E-safety very seriously here at Bretforton Village School. We have, in the past, shared information and advice with you regarding various areas of concern online. An ongoing area of concern for some parents is the chat facility that is available on some online games.  I felt it might be useful to gather together some advice for parents concerned about what their child is doing online.

Gaming is a great way for young people to relax, socialise with their friends and have fun. Children can play on games consoles, apps or websites, mobiles, tablets, PCs, or through smart speakers and virtual reality headsets. They can also chat to other players using messaging platforms for gamers, or watch livestreams of well-known gamers. It is important to know that there are now more girls playing games online than boys.

The risks

The risks arise largely from the vast number of people both in the UK and abroad who are also playing, the minimal restrictions involved and the fact that they are not face-to-face. Because of this, your child cannot be sure who they are playing against and chatting to … or what their motives are. The risks are increased as more and more games are being played on mobile devices rather than the 'family computer', giving you less opportunity to check up on what your children are doing online.

 Other risks include:

  • Your child playing games with an inappropriate age rating.
  • Your child running up bills on your credit card – if they have access to it.
  • Spending hours at a time on online games to the exclusion of exercise, socialising and schoolwork.

Games such as Among Us, MovieStar Planet, Roblox, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Clash of Clans and Fortnite have chat functions that allow children to talk to people they do not know. You can change the settings on these games so that your child is not able to do this. Whilst chat may have some filtering system in place, these are never 100% perfect and some inappropriate language can slip through the net and be seen or heard by your child.

 

Keep your child's online gaming safe

  • Have open and honest conversations with your children about their online gaming and the risks involved.
  • Educate your children about the dangers of revealing private information such as their email address, home address, family members or financial details.
  • Explain that not everybody is who they seem or claim to be, and their motives may be dishonourable.
  • Tell your children not to respond to bullying or other abuse, and to report it to you straight away.
  • Join your children in online gaming from time to time and randomly. This will give you an idea of the games they’re playing and who they connect with.
  • Set and monitor limits for the amount of daily or weekly time your children spend online gaming.
  • Check age ratings of games to ensure your children aren’t accessing inappropriate content. It’s 18 for a reason!
  • Never give your child your payment card details as extras can be very costly.

If you need any further information or advice about e-safety, please use the links below.

 

NSPCC Advice

Thinkuknow – Advice for Parents

Childline advice on online gaming and bullying