Online Safety Questions and Answers

Parents Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is an term which has recently been changed to 'Online-Bullying' due to misconceptions around the 'cyber' element of the word. It is considered to be repeated aggression by an individual or group against others. The bullies use the internet, mobile phones and other technologies to inflict psychological harm on their targets. Online-Bullying can take many different forms; sending mean or threatening messages, emails, photos or video clips; posting nasty messages to social networking sites, message boards, or chat rooms; setting up fake profiles to say bad things about someone or accessing someone’s account repeatedly to make trouble for them are all part of what constitutes bullying online.

What do I do if my Child is a Victim of Online-Bullying?

Firstly, tell your child not to reply to any messages – it’s exactly what the bully wants. It’s vital that any messages are kept too, it will help the investigation. Your child should also block the sender. Most sites and phone providers can help with this. On top of this, you should report the bullying to school authorities or if it’s of an extremely serious nature, the Police.

What is Internet Filtering

Filtering software is primarily a computer programme which blocks access to certain websites. It is easily installed on your home computer and will ensure that the majority of unsuitable content cannot be viewed by your child. Filtering is not 100 per cent successful – some things will slip through the net – but it will help you keep your child safe online at home.

What is the Proper age to Allow my Child use Facebook?

Most social networking websites like Facebook do not allow users who are under the age of 13. However, in reality, many young people use these websites because the big companies have no way of verifying ages. It is up to you as a parent. If you think your child is ready, it is a good idea to supervise their access and agree rules about social networking use.

What is a Suitable Age to let my Child Have a Mobile Phone?

There is no right answer to this question. It very much depends on your own situation and how you feel about it as a parent. Research shows that phone users are becoming younger all the time. But that does not mean that you should compromise just because your young son or daughter wants a mobile. As a parent, you should make yourself aware of the risks that mobiles bring and also educate yourself about their use. Now, smartphones are not just phones.

What is the key Internet Safety Advice?

Discover the internet together. Be the one to introduce you child to the web. Don’t be too critical of their exploration of the net, it’s not always their fault when they come across inappropriate content, but it is essential that the house has rules for if they do come across something inappropriate. Encourage your child to be careful when disclosing personal information online and keep the computer in a common area of the house. Report anything online you think is illegal and discuss the risks of meeting people offline that your children first met online.

How do I Switch on Google Safe Search?

Go the Google Support site here, and you’ll find instructions on how to activate Safe Search for your computer, phone and tablet.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is known as a micro-blogging site where users are limited to posting messages of 140 characters or less. Posting a message is known as a tweet. People make connections by following other people’s twitter feeds. Once you click follow, anything that person or organisation says will appear on your timeline