Safer Internet Day 2021 is being celebrated around the world on Tuesday 9th February 2021
The global theme is ‘together for a better internet’ and this year in the UK we are putting the focus on how young people can tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Everyone has a part to play in making the internet a better place, including you!
Please see some Top Tips for Parents and Carers below and the attached document of how to balance screen time. .
Remind your child that not everything they read online is true….
Whether your child likes games, videos or learning about their favourite dinosaur online, it’s important they recognise that not everything they see or hear will be true. Talk about this together or find some examples you could examine as ‘internet detectives.’ Keep it simple by telling them, “The internet can be great for finding things out, but you need to remember that not everything online is true! Some things might be a joke, an opinion, a mistake, or deliberately untrue.”
Help to check online information and content using other websites….
It is important that your child knows that information online can be put there by anyone! Therefore, because it may be unreliable, they need to check in other places too - to see if other sources say the same thing, or something different. You can do this by looking on at least two other websites, to compare the information. Start by using websites created by organisations that you know and trust, and those that have information specifically created for children.
Remind your child they can also fact-check information offline….
Checking the information that you find online, can be done offline too! Ask your child if they can think of any other places that they can look for information, e.g. by looking in a non-fiction book (e.g. an encyclopaedia), by watching a TV documentary, or by asking someone who knows about the subject. You don’t have to do all these things, for every single fact that you find, but it’s important to remember that a range of offline options are available too.
Talk about who children can and cannot trust on the internet….
There are a huge range of sites and services that allow communication between users. A good example of this is when it comes to playing online games. Explain to your child that it is safest only to talk to people online that you already know, like your family and close friends. Explore the apps that your children want to use and look for the safety / privacy settings available – they may include features that allow you to control who your child can interact with. Remember, friends made online are still strangers and so all personal information must be kept safe.
Encourage your child to discuss any concerns with someone they trust….
Let your child know that the best way to address any problem they have online, is to tell a trusted adult immediately. For example, this might include someone sending them a friend request; an online message; telling them to visit a specific website, or app; or asking them for their personal information. Reassure them that if anything happens online that they are unsure about, or makes them feel worried or upset, they can come to you for help.
Question, evaluate and reflect on the online content you see….
Remember that not everything online is always what it seems. Information, photos and even videos can be edited, faked or may have more than one motive – like trying to get you to spend money or share your personal information. If something seems odd, or you haven’t heard about it before, it’s best to do a bit more research.
Use other websites and sources to fact-check online information…
Luckily there’s lots of ways to check whether things are trustworthy online. Most importantly look at more than one source – this could include other webpages, videos or offline sources like books and newspapers. Remember there are lots of adults who can support you too – like parents, other family members and teachers.
Don’t share your personal details or trust strangers online…
There are some simple actions we can take to help keep everyone safe online – like not sharing personal information. Remember that other people online may not always be who they appear to be, so be sure to check with an adult if you are ever unsure about what to share or who you are chatting to online.
Help make the internet a more trustworthy and respectful place…
Remember that the online world is for everyone so always treat others with respect. If you see anything online that worries or upsets you, use the block and report buttons to take positive action to stop it and tell an adult what’s happened. By working together, we can make the internet a better, more respectful and more trustworthy place.
List the apps and websites you know that feature reliable information…
The internet is amazing – there’s so much to see, do and learn! If you are ever unsure about something then ask an adult that you trust for some help and advice. Why not make a list together of your favourite apps and websites, including the ones you think are most trustworthy?