Dorchester Primary School is committed to promoting the safe and responsible use of the internet and as such we feel it is our responsibility to raise the issue of underage use of Facebook as a particular concern. Websites such as Facebook offer amazing communication and social connections but they are created with their audience in mind. Facebook’s terms and conditions state that all users must be 13 years or older. As such we recommend that parents do not allow their children to have their own personal profiles online.
If you should decide to allow your child to have a Facebook profile we strongly advise you to be aware of the potential risks posed to your child. You may want to consider the following points.
- Check their profile is set to private and that only approved friends can see information that is posted.
- Closely monitor your child’s use and talk to them about safe and appropriate online behaviour such as not sharing personal information, clicking on unknown links, installing applications and not posting offensive messages or photos.
- Set up your own profile so you understand how the site works and ask them to have you as a friend on their profile so you know what they are posting online. Have a look at the advice for parents/carers from Facebook www.facebook.com/help/?safety=parents.
Make sure your child understands the following rules:
- Always keep your profile private and never accept friends you don’t know in real life.
- Never post anything online which could reveal your identity or anything you wouldn’t want your parents to see.
- Only click on links that you trust and always ask an adult first if you are not sure.
- Never agree to meet somebody you only know online without telling a trusted adult.
- Always tell an adult you trust if you feel threatened, see something that makes you feel worried or someone upsets you online.
We recommend that all parents visit CEOP’s Think U Know website for more information on keeping your child safe online www.thinkuknow.co.uk