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Keeping Students Safe Online

Published on 01/06/16

Technology has not only progressed, developed and transformed over an incredibly short space of time; but over the past 10 years, it has become much more prevalent throughout our daily lives.

We have reached a point where a generation of children were actually ‘born’ on Facebook. By this we mean that their baby pictures were shared with the Facebook friends of their parents. This generation of children that didn’t experience a life without social platforms are known as Gen Z; the first truly digitally native humans. 


Social Media Launches

Myspace - 2003

Facebook launches in 2004 – became available in UK 2005

YouTube 2005

Twitter launched 2006

WhatsApp 2009

Instagram 2010

SnapChat 2011


The intrinsic nature of social media in the lives of children now, creates an entirely new realm of safety that needs to be taken into consideration. It’s important that parents and teachers fully understand how children can stay safe online, so they are in a position to educate children on the potential dangers that are prevalent online.


Age Restrictions

It is important that students, parents and teachers are aware of the age restrictions that are in place on all social platforms. This is for the child’s personal safety and to ensure responsible use of each channel.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat: 13 years

YouTube: 18 years or 13 with parental permission

WhatsApp: 16 years


Privacy Settings

Because many children, even those in primary school, now have their own mobile device with access to all of these social platforms; knowing about the various privacy settings is of paramount importance. They determine whether a child’s profile is discoverable and accessible to anyone – or whether people have to request to view their profile, pictures or posts.

If your child or children in your school have mobiles of their own, it’s important that you go through how to ensure their profiles are private and remain appropriate.

Educating around eSafety is the only way to ensure that, wherever they are, they know how to stay safe online.



  • 72% of children use a tablet at home (up from 42% in 2013)
  • 34% of children between the ages 5-7 have their own tablet (up from 19% in 2013). This sudden increase in tablet ownership amongst young children means that they are able to access the web, play games and watch video clips before they even start school.
  • 43% of parents feel their children know more about the internet than they do – this is a dangerous statistic. Being unaware of the risks that children may face online means parents are not in a position where they can educate about the potential dangers.
  • 1 in 3 parents say they have had concerns or questions about their child’s technology use in the last year.
  • More than half of children use social media by the age of 10
  • Our generation of children have already overtaken parents on technology competency
  • 75% of parents are unaware of how to apply parental controls on phones
  • More than 25% of secondary students reported that they couldn’t remember having being taught about online safety in the past year - according to David Brown, Ofsted’s Child Internet Safety Summit.


Things to consider:

  • Too much time spent on social media
  • Hundreds of social media followers
  • Cyberbullying
  • Online actions hurting others
  • Posting inappropriate pictures / sexy selfies
  • Chatting to online strangers
  • Age restrictions
  • Online gaming with strangers
  • Posting embarrassing images
  • My child is affected by content online
  • Location sharing apps
  • Sharing too much personal information


The only way to ensure children are safe online is to educate teachers, parents and children on the dangers prevalent online. We offer eSafety training to teachers to enable them with the knowledge and ability to pass that onto the parents of their pupils.

Let us know if you’re interested in an eSafety training course and we’ll talk to you about what is involved and how it will benefit your school.

Safer Internet Week Lesson Plans

This pack will help teachers prepare lessons for students in a range of year groups, as well as highlight the need to include safe internet practices in the schools curriculum, to headteachers and senior staff. 

Tagged eSafety Websites