Another new school year and another opportunity to highlight the advice in the latest Parent Newsletter from Dorset Police’s Safe Schools and Communities Team. You can read the full newsletter here.
This latest edition includes useful ‘back to school’ advice, which could be particularly useful for parents of Year 7s. It may be that your child got their first smartphone over the summer and reviewing how they are using it could be valuable. This article includes links to websites such as the NSPCC’s NetAware and CommonSenseMedia, which both include advice relating to the latest apps and games. It also refers to the Internet Matters website, which has some great advice regarding parental controls.
The newsletter also covers online grooming and sextortion, a growing problem, especially thanks to the latest trend to live stream via social media platforms. I would encourage you to discuss this with your child – if they are regularly live streaming, they do make themselves extremely vulnerable to internet predators who might be recording the live stream for their own purposes. The article refers to advice from the National Crime Agency, including what to do if your child is a possible victim of these crimes.
The overall message here remains the same – safeguarding your child online is as important (if not more important) than ensuring they keep themselves safe in the non-online world. As a school, we do what we can to message our students regarding their use of the internet and social media – however, we are powerless to control or police their actual usage – which almost always happens outside of school. We will always do what we can to support with situations involving online safety, but the primary responsibility remains with parents.