Here at Bensham Manor we are passionate about keeping your child as safe as we can from the dangers of the Web, however we can only keep an eye on them in school using school devices. To assist you in keeping your child safe outside of the school premises we recommend the following Tips. There is also useful information and Articles from ParentZone which we hope you will find informative.
Parent Guides to Online Services
ParentZone is a great resource for finding out information on how to keep your child safe online as well as news and articles relating to real world issues. It also has some fantastic guides on different online platforms your child may be using, including Minecraft, Youtube and many more. These are regularly updated.
Install Anti-Virus Software
Anti-Virus and Firewall software are some of the most important programs you can have on your computer. Keeping them up to date is vital to keeping your computer safe. Dangerous software can be installed on your computer and can be used to attack your computer, steal information and attempt to extort money from you in the worst case. We wholeheartedly recommend SOPHOS Home over any other Anti-Virus software due to 2 things; 1: It uses the same engine as we use in school and across the LGFL network and 2: it is FREE and supports Parental Controls as well as covering up to 3 Devices. Sign up for an account below and then download the software to your PC. Please note you will need to uninstall all other antivirus programs but it is well worth it.
Activate Parental Controls
Recently, the government passed a ruling to ensure that children can be hidden from some of the more undesirable parts of the internet. This involved forcing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Virgin and BT to offer a content filter. However, you must make the choice as to whether you use these. We have included links on how to access and enable, or customise a web content filter. Please note we have only included links to the 4 main service providers but you can contact any ISP and they will assist you.
Keep your Devices up-to-date
The most important aspect of all of this is to keep your device and your software up to date. The majority of updates help to fix problems and issues that could enable hackers to compromise your device. By keeping your devices up to date you give yourself the best chance of being protected online. Windows offers an automatic update feature, as do most devices and it is recommended these are turned on. Your anti virus software will update regularly when connected to the internet and your mobile devices will periodically update if given the chance. We recommend for all other standard software updates such as Flash, Shockwave and Silverlight to use Ninite. Ninite is a small program that works to update all your used programs at once without bothering you too much. It really is a fantastic piece of software and is recommended to all using Windows PCs
Change Your Browser
Internet Explorer is the default browser on most PCs, but it is not always the safest. There are a number of different search engines but here at Bensham we recommend Google Chrome due to its automatic updates and extensions. If you do not have Google Chrome you can download it below. It is available for Windows and Mac and also for mobile devices. If your child signs into Google Chrome using their school email address it will automatically apply an Ad-Block extension which helps to remove some of the adverts around the internet. There are several extensions that block items such as YouTube Ads, Social Media Buttons etc.
What if I am using a tablet or Smartphone?
Tablet computers have become more and more popular and they are now in common use. Programs and software behave differently on every tablet unfortunately. Apple Devices (iPads, iPhones) are generally protected from viruses and issues provided they are updated regularly. Android Devices (such as those by Samsung, Sony etc) require a bit more safekeeping due to the open nature of their systems. Amazon Devices (Kindle Fire etc) are slightly more secure than Android devices and are recommended as a lower cost option to an Apple iDevice. Please be aware that no system is completely infallible so care must be taken when using any internet enabled device. If you have enabled your parental filters then these will apply over Wi-fi to all of your devices in your household.