Chat Rooms/Internet Games/Internet Sites

Chat rooms/ internet games/ internet sites

  • Remember unless you know them away from the computer, everyone you meet in a chat room is a stranger. You may be able to see a webcam of them or hear their voice but there are ways to stream these so people appear completely different on screen from what they are in real life.
  • Don’t use real names – use code names or user names.
  • Zip it – don’t reveal personal information – see Facebook information. This includes games. A legitimate game should not need personal information.
  • Block it – click the X if it makes you feel uneasy or you feel you shouldn’t be looking at it. Get an adult to block the site or pop-up.
  • Flag it – if a chat makes you uneasy or someone is trying to find out information or if they are “chatting” more to one person that to others, then report it using the “ceop report” button. Tell an adult straight away.
Recommendations for parents

Try not to restrict your child’s access to the internet too much. They will explore – whether they do it at your house or at a friends’. It is better to keep an open channel of communication.

You can set parental controls on your computer in several ways. One way to find out how for your computer and browser is to Google it! However you can use the control panel and user accounts. You can also open the internet browser. Click on tools, click internet options, click content and then click enable.

The four big Internet providers in the UK (BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media) provide their customers with free parental controls which can be activated at any time. They have come together to produce these helpful video guides to help you download and set-up the controls offered by your provider . . .

Visit the help guides here

Checking your child’s internet history - There are several ways to do this:-

By clicking on the arrow next to the address bar when they finish a session. Another is to look at the history on the ‘favourites’ tool. A final way is to look in the control panel under internet options and look at the files.

Ask your child to show you the sites they use and explain them. Be aware of what they are not showing you as well as what they are showing you.

Talk to your child regularly about internet/ mobile phone safety.

Set up a communication system if necessary – for instance if a child puts a post-it in a particular place it means – “please start a conversation with me”.

Be site aware – the pros and cons

Be aware that sites such as You Tube can have comments and language that are unsuitable for children, and an increasing number of video games also contain a huge amount of violence, inappropriate language and visual images.

Some games involve using high level thinking skills and enable your child to practice a variety of skills, including following instructions, using problem solving and logic, hand-eye coordination, fine motor and spatial skills, perseverance, memory, etc.   However, be aware that research suggests playing violent video games can increase aggressive thoughts, feelings and behaviour, and can lead to poor school performance. The message is to monitor video game play the same way you need to monitor television and other media (eg. Content and time spent).