The internet is a fantastic place to learn, have fun and talk to friends and family. However there are risks and everyone must make sure they know how to stay safe and protect themselves online. The following is a list of respected websites and resources which will help to keep you and your children safe on line.
OFCOM have produced a range of excllent help guides for parents. See below for their links.
- OFCOM Guide – Parental Controls for Mobile Phones
- OFCOM Guide – Parental Controls for Games
- OFCOM Guide – Parents to Protect
Bullying is considered to be ‘behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’ ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying; Advice for HT, Staff and Governing Bodies, 2011’. It is the right of every member of the College community to be free from humiliation, oppression and abuse in a safe, secure, caring, learning environment; this includes bullying of and by College staff whether by pupils, parents or staff.
Bullying whether physical, verbal, indirect or through electronic devises is unacceptable as is bullying related to race, religion or culture; SEN or disabilities; health conditions or appearance; sexual orientation; sexist or sexual bullying; home circumstances, etc.
The College acknowledges its responsibility in supporting pupils being ‘cyber bullied’ and in applying disciplinary sanctions to the perpetrators (including ‘active participants’ i.e. those making the situation worse and/or compounding the distress levels by their involvement).
In all reported cases when it is believed a criminal offence may have been committed parents/carers will be advised to contact the service provider and, to contact the police. The criminal acts most commonly associated include:
- Harassment and stalking
- Threats of harm or violence to a person or property
- Any evidence of sexual exploitation e.g. ‘grooming’, distribution of sexual images or inappropriate sexual contact or behaviour
The College will, in all cases that may be considered ‘criminal’ report and assist the police with any enquiries.
Where it appears that a criminal offence has not been committed the College will approach the matter through the sanctions systems.
Other useful sites
Kidscape is committed to keeping children safe from abuse. Kidscape is the first charity in the UK established specifically to prevent bullying and child sexual abuse. Kidscape believes that protecting children from harm is key. Kidscape works UK-wide to provide individuals and organisations with practical skills and resources necessary to keep children safe from harm. The Kidscape staff equips vulnerable children with practical non-threatening knowledge and skills in how to keep themselves safe and reduce the likelihood of future harm. Kidscape works with children and young people under the age of 16, their parents/carers, and those who work with them.
The Internet Watch Foundation is a UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content
- Child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world
- Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK
- Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK
Reports are confidential and can be made anonymously.
Childnet International is a non-profit organisation working with others to “help make the Internet a great and safe place for children”.
Need to talk? Contact ChildLine anytime – calls are free and confidential
Vodafone Parents Guide is a guide for parents that acts as a central place where they can go to get to grips with the latest technology, get involved with what their children are doing online and help them stay in control when it comes to some of the challenges they might face.
OFCOM The digital age has transformed the way we live. Multi-channel TV, the internet, mobile phones and games players mean we can now get a wealth of entertainment and information at the touch of a button. But not all of this is going to be suitable for your children.
Potential Cyberbullying Sites
ASK.FM is a social networking site where teens can send and receive anonymous questions and comments. Teens can connect to this website through their Facebook and AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) accounts. The website allows for online conversations and does not require that teens reveal their identities. We have learned that some of our students have innocently set up ask.fm accounts hoping to hear positive affirmations form their peers. However, the temptation to use this site for cyber-bullying and harassing teens is prevalent.
Bodmin College urges parents to find out if their children are using ask.fm and warns them against possible bullying on the site. Parents are requested to check their child’s Facebook or AIM pages to see if they are registered for ask.fm. In addition, we recommend that parents monitor their children’s internet activity and keep the computer in a common area so that they can keep an eye on what their son or daughter are accessing online.