Almost all of our pupils use the Internet at home and we know that, as parents, it can be difficult to allow children the freedom to develop as responsible individuals while protecting them from the perils and pitfalls of the Internet. Increasingly, even at primary school age, younger people are conducting their social life online so parents need to provide guidance to make sure that their children behave safely and responsibly. Please help your children by following these key recommendations:
Technology is a fantastic aid to learning and enjoyment but there are dangers of which we must all be aware. At school we have strict filters on internet traffic at Service Provider level, we do not allow pupils to communicate online with people outside of the school and we do not allow children to use the internet unsupervised.
If you or your child has any online concerns we can help with at Hilldene, please try to save any evidence and then contact us, or visit the office to make an appointment.
Do not give out personal information without your parents' permission. This means you should not share your last name, home address, school name, or telephone number. Remember, just because someone asks for information about you does not mean you have to tell them anything about yourself!
Screen NameWhen creating your screen name, do not include personal information like your last name or date of birth.
Do not share your password with anyone but your parents. When you use a public computer make sure you logout of the accounts you have accessed before leaving the computer.
Do not post photos or videos online without your parents' permission.
Do not agree to meet an online friend unless you have your parents' permission. Unfortunately, sometimes people pretend to be people they are not. Remember that not everything you read online is true.
Do not buy anything online without talking to your parents first. Some ads may try to trick you by offering free things or telling you that you have won something as a way of collecting your personal information.
Talk to your parents before you open an email attachment or download software. Attachments sometimes contain viruses. Never open an attachment from someone you do not know.
Do not send or respond to mean or insulting messages. Tell your parents if you receive one. If something happens online that makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to your parents or to a teacher at school.
Many social networking websites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Second Life and MySpace) and blog hosting websites have minimum age requirements to signup. These requirements are there to protect you!
All messages should be friendly and not critical of others. It can be easy to misinterpret the tone and meaning of on-screen communications and children, in particular, should always check messages before hitting the send button.
Issues arising from upsetting communications can sometimes spill over into school. Where this occurs we will work with parents and pupils to resolve the issues and reinforce the importance of appropriate behaviour.
Maintain your computer Anti-virus and ensure Firewall is on.
Beware of unsolicited Emails asking for personal or Bank details - Banks will NEVER do this. Do NOT use links from Emails to Banks etc.
Use secure passwords - Combination of letters & numbers. Keep passwords secure; including from your children. If your computer offers to save your passwords, click 'NO'.
Only give credit card or bank details to reputable company websites.
Ensure that the websites use secure links before sending credit card or bank information. (Check the start of the website address - It should be https://... , - The 's' denotes 'secure'.)
Before using a wireless connection ensure that it is encrypted. Most 'Hot spots' and public access facilities are NOT encrypted. Many home systems are not encrypted by default. Get expert help if you are unsure.
Parents should be careful to check the age requirements for any social networking site before allowing their children to set up a profile. Most have a minimum age limit.
Facebook accounts are not allowed for children under 13 years of age. This means that NO child attending Hilldene should have a Facebook account.
Things to Remind Your Child About:
Never give personal information about yourself or the family. Names, addresses. School etc, times at school or not at home, places I like to go to.
Avoid posting photographs of yourself or family.
Do not accept a contact as a 'friend' unless you already know them as a friend in real life.
Disclaimer: you may wish to enable the following settings or install the additional software listed below but this is your decision and must be entirely at your own risk. The school can only provide limited support for your use of technology at home.