Social Media and keeping your child safe:
E-safety - key information for parents/carers
It is important to be aware, that although Facebook, Instagram, and other social media profiles can be something our children want to be a part of, the permitted minimum age to use these sites is 13 years old, according to their terms and conditions.
As a school we would rather our children didn't use social media, but we recognise the need to be educated in the safety aspects of these issues. So if your child does have an account, please be aware...
Any social media account should
• be properly secured with high privacy settings
• not include pictures of them (and other children) in their school uniform, which could them easily identifiable and means people can work out where they will be in real life;
• have content which is appropriate in terms of the language and/or images on them, and if your child’s profile is appropriate, be aware of the profiles of friends.
General social networking issues
Websites such as Facebook offer amazing communication and social connections, however they are created with their audience in mind and this is specifically over 13 years old.
Possible risks for children under 13 using the Social media sites may include :
- Facebook uses “age targeted” advertising and therefore your child could be exposed to adverts of an inappropriate nature, depending on the age they stated they were when they registered.
- Children may accept friend requests from people they don’t know in real life, which could increase the risk of inappropriate or dangerous contact or behaviour
- Language, games, groups and content posted or shared on Social Media Sites are generally not moderated, and therefore can be offensive, or unsuitable for children. show your child how to report and block.
- Photographs shared by users are not moderated. Show your child how to report and block.
- Underage users might be less likely to keep their identities private and lying about their age can expose them to further risks regarding privacy settings and options
- Social Media Sites could be exploited by bullies and for other inappropriate contact.
- Social Media Sites generally cannot and does not verify their members; therefore it is important to remember that if your child can lie about their age and who they are online, so can anyone else. Have converstaions with your child about this.
We feel it is important to point out to parents the risks of underage use of such sites, so you can make an informed decision as to whether to allow your child to have a profile or not at the moment.
Should you decide to allow your child of any age to have a social media profile we strongly advise you to have conversations with you child about:
- Checking their profile is set to private and that only friends can see information that is posted
- Safe and appropriate online behaviour such as not sharing personal information and not posting offensive messages or photos
- The E-safety rules that we have learnt about at school not to accept friends they don’t know in real life
- not posting anything – writing or images – which could reveal your private information
- Never agreeing to meet somebody they only know online without telling a trusted adult
- Always telling someone if they feel threatened or someone upsets them
School support and action
St Michael's takes e-safety very seriously, and we discuss E-Safety issues throughout theyear with our pupils. There is lots of e-safety information on our school website that contains resources for parents and children.
Please come to us for any help you need.