This is the page where, during the lockdown, we will be sharing some family offline activities that you can use to practice your online skills.
If you have any questions or worries about online safety you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click on the whisper button below, or text BUR and your message to 07860021584, in order to contact a member of our safeguarding team.
You can also access more resources and advice through the online safety page of our website.
We are Sharp
Think Before you Share: Family Activity
This activity will help you to think about what is OK to share and what is not.
We all love sharing things online, from pictures of cats to a funny video you want all your friends to see. The trouble is, we sometimes don’t understand that what we post online can still be seen by someone far into the future, or that some things are best kept private.
Read each scenario out loud. Ask each family member to give a thumbs up if they think it is OK to share. A thumbs down if it is not OK to share. A thumbs middle if it depends. Each time, ask one person to explain their choice to the rest of the family.
Sharing a picture on social media of your best friend pulling a silly face.
- Sharing a video because you think it is funny, but it turns out people find the joke mean and someone gets upset.
- A stranger in an online game chat forum asks for your phone number and home address.
- Your best friend is coming over for a sleepover but has forgotten your home address, so they message you and ask for it.
- You have accidentally shared too much information that was personal with a stranger and now you are worried about it. Should you tell someone?
- Sharing a funny cat video in a friends’ chat group.
- Posting a photo of yourself online in school uniform with the school logo and name showing.
- Posting your home address in a messaging group with people that you’ve never met in person.
The answers below are discussion starters
Scenario 1: Children sometimes don’t realise that what they find amusing might be embarrassing or even upsetting for their friend. Remind them to always check before sharing a photo/video of others.
Scenario 2: Remind your child that some things might upset another child, especially if that child is younger than them. Encourage them to think about the contents of a video and whether sharing it could offend or upset others.
Scenario 3: It is possible to disable the chat function on online games. Check your child knows that it is easy to block and report people who are harassing them or sending inappropriate messages.
Scenario 4: In this scenario they already know the person and have arranged a sleepover. Friends will need to know the address. Remind your child about safe ways to share personal information. For example, they could ask you to call their friend’s parents.
Scenario 5: Remind your child to come to you or another trusted adult if anything goes wrong so you can act quickly. You can help them to block, delete and report other users.
Scenario 6: Talk to your child about things that are OK to share, e.g a funny, non-offensive video of a cat sent to friends. Encouraging good behaviour online is really important. Using technology positively is one of the things that can keep children safer.
Scenario 7: A school logo could reveal where your child goes to school. It is best to ensure the logo and school name cannot be seen before sharing this kind of photo. This is a good opportunity to talk to your child about accidental sharing.
Scenario 8: Remind your child that there are better ways to share your home address if someone really needs it. See Scenario 4.
You could play the Interland game together. Visit Mindful Mountain where information travels at the speed of light and there’s an Oversharer among the Internauts you know...
We are Alert
Check Its For Real - Family Activity Number Two
Not everything your child comes across online is true or reliable. The tricky part is working out the difference. Learning how to spot the clues for what’s real and what’s fake, misleading or a scam online will help your child navigate what they see and read online with confidence.
Sit down together with a tablet or other device and go to your favourite search engine home page. Check if the safe search feature is turned on. Pick a topic your child knows/cares a lot about (e.g. football, wildlife, favourite actor) and type it in the search box. Click on a variety of results, at the top and several pages down. Look at the points on the below checklist and see if you can spot any clues
Does the website have an About page? Is it clear who the author of the page is? If so, is it someone well-known? Is it the site of a sponsor or fan (and so maybe mostly positive)? If the information is negative, can you find out more about the site or source of the criticism? Is it just one person’s opinion/blog or does it seem to be balanced? If it’s a news site, is it a well-known one you feel you can trust? If not you might want to do a search on it to see if people feel it tries to present information in a balanced way.
Give each website a score: 3 = tip top reliable, 2 = best to double check with an adult, 1 = I definitely wouldn’t rely on this site for information.
Explore the search results with your child and discuss the ‘Check’ questions to see what clues you can spot. Encourage your child to tell you about websites they would trust. Can they tell you the signs of a reliable website? Talk to them about bias – see if they can think about the author and what their motives might be. See if they can spot the spelling and grammar mistakes that may indicate an unreliable website.
You could play Reality River together online, where things are not always as they seem. Use your best judgement to decide what is fact and what is fiction.
We are Secure
Protect Your Stuff: Family Activity Three
In our third Interland activity our focus is on how to protect our possessions. This activity will help you understand how to keep some information private and secure online. We know that some things need to be kept private but this is something that can sometimes be hard to understand. Whilst it is good to share toys, time and treats, it isn’t OK to share passwords .
Strong password recipe
Start with a quick chat; do you think password123 is a ‘strong’ (secure) password? Why is it important to have a password that you can remember but that nobody else can guess.? Together, can you write your own recipe for a strong password, including all the ‘ingredients’ needed to build a secure password for online accounts and instructions for how to create the password. How much of each ingredient will you put in your recipe? You have to be able to remember your password.
Ingredients: capital letters, lower case letters, symbols and numbers
Here are some quick tips to guide your family discussion.
- Try to create a different password for each online account so they are not all the same.
- Do not share passwords with anyone, even your best friend.
- A weak password is one that is easy to guess.
- Include a mix of capital letters and lowercase.
- Avoid using your pet’s name, date of birth and other obvious information that may make it easy for others to guess the password.
- Include numbers and symbols to make it harder to guess or to ‘hack’ (a hacker is someone who tries to get access to someone’s information without permission).
- Use a short sentence instead of one word so it is hard for others to guess but easy for you to remember.
You could take the activity online and play the Interland game together. Visit the Tower of Treasure where you need to outrun the hacker and build a fortress with strong passwords to protect your possessions. Use the link or type g.co/TowerOfTreasure into your internet browser. I have my Internet Strong certificate. Can you get one too?
We are kind
Respect Each Other: Family Activity Four
Younger children often don’t realise that some messages can be easily misunderstood online or that they can, and should, do something if they witness unkind acts. Sometimes what is meant as a harmless joke shared in public can end up upsetting and embarrassing others, even their friends.
In a “What would you do?” family chat, read the scenarios and then ask each member of the family to say what they would do in each situation. Each family member will probably come up with their own answers and have their opinions for each scenario. This is not a bad thing. Any discussion is an opportunity to hear the take that others have on something. It encourages us all to talk things through if we are unsure or worried. Suggested responses are below but they are not the only answers.
- A friend is upset because someone is sending them nasty messages online.
- You have also noticed that people are leaving cruel comments on the photos they post.
- You are playing an online game and in the chat forum someone is posting nasty jokes and messages that you don’t find funny and are upsetting to read.
- A friend sends you a video of classmates being bullied that they find funny but you find it upsetting.
- You comment on a friend’s haircut in a message saying you think they look different. You meant it in a nice way but they seem upset.
Scenarios 1 to 4:
Even if something bad is happening to someone else, you can be an upstander: someone who recognises when something is wrong and acts to make it right. When we stand up for what is right, and do our best to help support and protect someone who is being hurt, we are being socially responsible. We can ask for support with a trusted adult about how we could do that. We could use the Whisper button on the school website, to get help from an adult at school in being an upstander.
As well as being an upstander, there are many ways that you can report inappropriate behaviour online, and ways that you can block people who are acting unkindly or inappropriately. Always find a trusted adult to talk to if you are worried about anything. You can get advice at school about blocking or reporting inappropriate content.
Discuss how it is easy to misunderstand written messages that are not said out loud, face-to-face. You could come up with some more examples together.
You could play the Interland game together. Visit Kind Kingdom where you need to stop the spread of negativity everywhere and help restore the peaceful nature of Interland.