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Online Safety During COVID

RIS Student Support –

COVID-19 continues to require our children to spend more time online. Being connected helps them reduce the impact of COVID-19 and encourages them to continue with their lives, but it also presents risks and dangers. It is essential that we are all aware of the potential danger that comes when giving students unprotected access to the internet.

Online Risks

  • Victims of cyberbullying by peers, adults, and strangers 
  • Instigators or observers of cyberbullying and peer-on-peer abuse online
  • Targeted by adults or peers online for sexual purposes through social media, games, and messaging platforms
  • Seeing harmful content, violence, misogyny, xenophobia, inciting suicide and self harm, pornography, etc.
  • Sharing personal information and sexual videos or photos of themselves
  • Developing internet addiction and reduced focus
  • Giving strangers access to your child through any online game or platform (Roblox, Discord) that allows chatting. 

Internet Safety Essentials:

1. Protect Your Child with Tech Fixes

2. Protect Your Child with Adult Supervision

  • Supervise your child’s online time as you would supervise them in any other social setting. 
  • Keep technology in a public area like the living room. Be careful about leaving children online alone in their bedroom. 
  • Check your child’s internet history and talk with them about what they do online and who they were with.  
  • Set a “technology curfew.” For example: No tech/devices/Wi-Fi after 9 p.m. (Removing devices from the bedroom at bedtime supports healthy sleep patterns in children.)

3. Protect Your Child with Open Communication

  • Talk with your child about the importances of reporting inappropriate behavior online. Reporting keeps themselves and others safe. 
  • Tell your child that if they experience something online that makes them feel upset, uncomfortable, scared, or bullied they need to tell a trusted adult (parent, teacher, etc.). They will not get punished for speaking up. 
  • Be alert to signs of distress. Notice if your child is withdrawn, upset, secretive, or seems obsessed with online activities.
  • Tell RIS if your child is experiencing harm online so that we can intervene. 

See Something, Say Something!

  • Please report to your child’s teacher, counsellor, admin or the Designated Safeguarding Lead if your child is experiencing harm online. When possible, send screenshots to help us understand the situation better. 

Click here for more help, advice and resources for parents. 
Click here for more help, advice and resources for children and teens.