COHR hosted a Cybersafety evening with Sacred Heart on Thursday 14th November. The evening was run by Carly McGauran a family psychologist and Martin McGauran an education consultant and primary teacher, who presented many important tips and tricks in helping keep children safe in an online environment and informing and empowering parents on the technical and psychological side of cybersafety. Whilst disappointed with the parent attendance, it certainly was an informative presentation.
Helping children to stay safe online is something many parents should be concerned about. As a parent, your ability to set limitations, provide guidance and help, as well as supporting your child to gain confidence to ask for advice and help are all very important. Children need to be equipped with the tools to manage risks associated with being online. A major concern is the reluctance of children to discuss cyber safety issues with their parents through fear of retribution, loss of access to devices and subsequently the loss of access to their friends and the potential damage to their relationships.
Most of our students have access to at least one, if not more devices which have access to the internet, whether it be a smartphone, Chromebook, home computer, smart T.V., gaming console or iPad. Therefore the importance of staying safe online is crucial.
Three important issues presented to us on the night is the age limit for many of the social apps/ games, especially the Tik Tok app and the importance to not have access to the internet in bedrooms.
The age to create accounts is 13 & over; Lying online = Lying.
Tik Tok (Musical.ly) - is an app that primary students should not have - to put it bluntly, this app is full of predators/ pornography!
Internet not to be accessed in bedrooms, to be supervised at all times.
We know we have students that have signed up to these apps / games - Instagram, Snapchat, Tik Tok, You Tube, Twitch, Likee, Funimate, Clash of Clans. Students have told us about some cybersafety issues they have had. As parents, have you read the privacy settings, have you read the parent guides? Have you set parental controls on devices? We strongly advise that you communicate, supervise and set boundaries with your children. Slides from the Cybersafety presentation can be found here, outlining how to access parent guides and what controls you can set. These slides are updated regularly. bit.ly/cyberparenting
In weeks 8 & 9, Mrs Torrisi will once again run Cybersafety lessons with all grades. The Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides many tools and excellent advice to parents for protecting your children online. Common Sense Media is another informative site for online behaviour - sign up to the parent blog.
As we get nearer to the holiday time there probably will be more screen time happening, it is a timely reminder for all of us to be vigilant with the cybersafety of our children. The most important path a parent can take is to be involved. Explore the internet together, find out what games and websites your children enjoy and get to know their friends both online and offline.
If you have any questions or want further explanation, please come and have a chat. Mrs Georgina Torrisi and Mrs Karen Wakeling are passionate about helping our students navigate and being responsible online users.