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The Internet and related technologies, including mobile phones, blogs, podcasting and social networks are becoming increasingly important in the daily lives of our children and have many positive benefits. They can be used both educationally and socially and are becoming part of a childs identity. Socially our children often use the Internet for entertainment, interaction, and communication with friends. Access to the internet can take place anywhere and at anytime so we need to make sure our children are able to use the internet safely. Many children are unaware of the risks for example by having many online friends (who could be strangers), uploading inappropriate images, viewing unsuitable content or even becoming addicted to the Internet.
In school, CLEO (Cumbria and Lancashire Education Online) provides for a safe and secure online environment for children in Lancashire and Cumbria schools. Many parents and carers do seek advice on how they can provide a similar environment for their children when accessing the Internet from home and how to help their children to develop safe habits when learning and playing online. Some of the advice about online safety is common sense but its also important that parents and carers know how to use the technology and be aware of how their children are using the internet.
There is comprehensive information about all the online safety issues on these websites and once parents and carers have the background on the subject they can decide what is right for their family.
The internet is an exciting and fun place for adults and children to use and explore educationally and socially. The challenge for parents, carers and teachers is to make sure our children are aware and understand how to be safe when using the internet and related technologies.