There’s much to fear within the digital environment, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable online. This Halloween we are going to show you how to turn those fears into actionable online safety steps so you can support and help to safeguard young people online.
Why are children so exposed to online harm?
Children lack the maturity to navigate the darker aspects of the online world. The internet was never designed for them and there’s plenty of frightening content and people that mean them harm.
A bit like a horror scene plot whereby a young person is relentlessly pursued by a monster, it can be a hard watch when you see just how vulnerable they are - often separated from their friends and simply left to their fate. Similarly, if a child becomes caught up in a situation online that is out of their control, without adult guidance they too could become a victim.
How do we ensure the online world is a safer place for children?
A healthy fear of the internet is a good thing for children, we want them to thrive online but also to respect the boundaries set by teachers and parents.
Our data shows that 50% of all 10-11 year olds have a device in their bedroom, which leaves them vulnerable to online harm. The scary reality of this is made really clear in our recent campaign, “Have the Conversation” which was backed by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) and demonstrates the true horror of what children can be caught up in, if we don’t act to help them. Watch the “Have the conversation” video to see what we mean.
We can all play our part in helping to keep children safe online. Early intervention is key, so an online safety education should begin with primary-aged children. Here are some of the ways you can allay your online safety fears this Halloween:
Whether you are an educator or parent/carer, you need to be having relevant and regular conversations with children about their online experiences. There is so much for them to learn and understand - from the nuances of digital communication to identifying inappropriate behaviour - so they need the opportunity to talk with trusted adults and ask questions. Our conversation starters will help you to approach this in the right way.
There are many organisations working to protect children online and they will all produce resources that will help you to address online safety in school and at home. Natterhub is an award-winning platform for teachers that provides 350+ age-appropriate lessons for primary schools, making online safety education a breeze. Teachers can try it for free to see how it all works.
There is also plenty of information available for parents and carers and this upcoming online safety webinar has been designed to speak to parents directly about how they can approach online safety at home. Educators and parents can register free for the next event.
In every aspect of life primary-aged children need adult guidance and to know what is expected of them. The online world is no different, as a teacher or parent/carer you set the rules. Be clear and consistent about what they are - whether that’s a limit on screen-time, a ban on devices in the bedroom or permission-based based internet use - these boundaries help to put you in control and ensure that online safety is an ongoing conversation in school and at home.
Don’t just fear the online world and hope for the best, play your part in helping children to be safe, savvy and kind digital citizens. Let’s save the horrors for Halloween.
Discover how Natterhub is supporting primary schools with their online safety.
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