Children today are firmly part of the digital age and we want our children to be able to benefit from all the wonderful learning and opportunities that this creates. However, there are also risks involved in any online activity and it is important that our children have a clear understanding of e-safety rules and expectations.
There are 3 main areas for children to be aware of:
Not everything we see online is true or acceptable and sometimes people are not who they say they are or are not sharing real information. Some key questions to ask are:
We encourage our children to consider our Shaftesbury character values at all times in their online activity and to report any inappropriate or harmful content. This includes use of social media such as WhatsApp, Instagram, Tik Tok etc.
Below are some links that children or parents may find useful.
What should I do if I receive messages that I don't like?
WhatsApp is now one of the world's most common ways of keeping in touch with others. As of May 2018, WhatsApp's minimum age of use is 16 years old if you live in the European Union, or a country that has adopted the GDPR, as the UK has. It was previously 13 years old. Whilst none of our pupils should be using WhatsApp, we feel it is important for our children to understand the importance of staying safe and the steps they can take if they see something that they don't like. This is why the Report option was introduced.
How to report issues to WhatsApp
Users can send reports to WhatsApp by contacting them via the app.
On Android: Tap More options > Settings > Help > Contact us.
On iPhone: Tap Settings > Help > Contact Us.
On Windows Phone: Tap the Menu > Settings > About > Support.
Remember, users who feel they or someone else is in danger should contact the police.
Users should where possible take a screenshot of the content and share it, along with any available contact info, with the appropriate authorities.
How to stay safe on WhatsApp
WhatsApp have created some basic controls to help users protect themselves online.
Control who sees information:
Users can set their last seen, profile photo and/or status to multiple options.
Everyone – Last seen, profile photo and/or status will be available to all WhatsApp users.
My Contacts – Last seen, profile photo and/or status will be available to contacts from address book only.
Nobody – Last seen, profile photo and/or status unavailable to everyone.
If Read Receipts is deactivated, users can no longer send read receipts or see other users’ read receipts.
Remember – Read Receipts are always sent for group chats, even if the option is deactivated in privacy settings.
Control what is seen and who is interacted with:
Users can stop receiving messages, calls and status updates from certain contacts by blocking them.
Control what is shared:
Users can also decide what to share with their contacts on WhatsApp.
Remember: “Ask yourself: would you want others to see what you’ve sent?”