Cyber Safety Information

It is easier than ever for pupils to access the internet and have an online presence.

Pupils can access the internet using the following:

Computers/ Laptops

Mobile Phones

Games Consoles

Tablets

Using any online device exposes pupils to a number of risks and it’s important that they are aware of these and also steps are taken to reduce the potential problems that could arise from online use.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying refers to any offensive or aggressive comments and acts that are delivered using a digital platform. This can be done over email, social media, text or video uploading websites/ apps.

This can include:

  • blackmail/threats
  • abusive comments
  • spreading rumours
  • sharing embarrassing pictures
  • creating fake profiles on social networking sites.

Cyberbullying is not a criminal offense but more offensive material can result in police intervention under the following:

  • The Protection from Harassment Act of 1997
  • The Malicious Communication Act of 1998

It is vitally important that any instances of cyberbullying are NOT deleted and kept as evidence of the event. This can be retention of text messages or screen grabs (social media/ video etc).

Dealing with Cyberbullying

At school cyberbullying is dealt with pastorally.

The school uses a Conflict resolution system to deal with bullying and conflict at school and cyberbullying can be resolved in the same way.

As a school we will address issues of cyberbullying but this can be difficult as a lot of incidents occur outside of school. As parents/ carers we hope you are able to support your child and help them use the strategies discussed tonight to address incidents of cyberbullying at home.

Social Media

Social media refers to apps and websites that allow people to interact socially with peers.

However, it is the case that social media is used in negative ways and can be used for cyberbullying and also access to inappropriate content.

The main social media platforms are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • SnapChat
  • Twitter
  • WhatsApp

There are many others that all perform similar things.

Although they have potential dangers, each of these apps/sites have instructions for blocking individuals and reporting offensive content. This can be found on their sites or using a Google search; “how to block people on Facebook” for example.

As a school we have seen an increase in social media incidents so monitoring your child’s social media use can help prevent these incidents.

Online gaming

Many video games can be played online.

Many games have online modes where pupils can play games with their friends but also strangers from anywhere in the world.

This could potentially expose your child to the dangers associated with online contact with strangers and should be considered when allowing your child to game online.

USEFUL TIPS

  • Many apps will have menus that allow you to change the privacy settings. This allows it so that young people can only talk with their friends and not strangers.
  • It is recommended that you disable the geo locations of apps so that the location of young people can’t be identified.
  • Discuss what information your young person needs to keep private.
  • Use a ‘screen name’ rather than their real name when logging into apps or setting up accounts.