Child Safety Online
Over the past five years, how children and young people physically access the internet has changed beyond recognition. The computer is no longer a feature of the living room, connected by a fixed line. More and more children have access to mobile devices and are spending in excess of 13 hours online each week.
A 2014 ‘Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes’ report conducted by Ofcom (a communications regulating body in the UK) summarises current trends:
- There has been a significant increase in access to, ownership of and use of tablet computers by children of all ages.
- Almost twice as many children aged 5-15 are going online via a tablet than in 2013.
- Gender differences are evident from an early age. Differences include a preference for gaming among boys and for communicating online among girls. Parents also treat boys and girls differently, monitoring some aspects of girls’ online activity more closely than boys’
These changes, while very positive in many ways, have also opened up opportunities for those who would seek to harm children. The technology can remove some of the protective barriers around children, allowing them to meet people not previously known to them, without the knowledge of parents or guardians. Those who seek to harm children do not need to be based in the same geographical area as the children they are targeting, and can communicate with children through means that are beyond parental control. They can also pretend to be of a different age or gender to gain the confidence of the children they are communicating with. Within those online environments children and young people meet many people that they have never met in the physical world. As adults we would call them “strangers”, but this is not a term that children and young people would readily understand in the context of their online lives; in fact on many of these sites, these strangers become ‘friends’.
Online or cyber bullying is when a person or a group of people use the internet, email, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. Cyber bullying can seem easier that directing comments face-to-face as the bully doesn’t have to see the reaction of the person they are hurting. Children can also send a message, through their various technologies, quickly and easily without thinking of the consequences.
How is the BIS aiming to protect children from these dangers?
- All BIS teaching staff have recently completed the UK certification on Child Protection in Education
- A parent workshop is being offered to raise attention about possible dangers of using online gaming, social networking sites and the internet on November 24th. Please register attendance on CHQ or contact the Primary Office directly.
- There will be an Anti Bullying Week for children at the BIS, week commencing 23rd November
Ms Sue Hill, Head of Primary
Congratulation to our fine diners this week:
- Dang Khanh Linh 3I
- Nguyen Khanh Linh 3I
- Tony 4B
- Hoang Lam 4B
- Aaryan 5I
- Tien Dat 5I