Online Safety Guidance on

August 24, 2013



The UK Safer Internet Centre have provided helpful information on which we would like to share with colleagues in Highland.

“In response to rising questions to the Professionals Online Safety Helpline, we have created a really simple Fact Sheet that clearly explains aspects of Ask.FM.  The most common questions are ‘How do I report issues to Ask.FM?’ and ‘How do I turn off anonymous postings with Ask.FM?’.  Well the fact sheet explains how to do both of these” You can access the Fact Sheet here.


Be Safe and Keep Others Safe Online! Guidance for Parents and Carers

March 8, 2013

On behalf of the Highland E-Safety Group I am pleased to highlight to you our new offering of guidance for Parents and Carers, but actually it’s going to be useful for anyone interested in safety online. This is a 4 page article which is going out as a supplement with the April edition of the  Highland Life Magazine

Feel free to download here Be Safe and Keep Others Safe When Online and share with anyone you feel would benefit from reading it. It has been written to reflect a balanced approach, acknowledging benefits and offers practical tips for Parents and Carers to share with their children. There’s a few links and ideas to get folks thinking too thrown in for good measure.

Thank you to The Highland Council, Health and Social Care service who supported the publication.

Be Safe and Keep others Safe Online

Mobile Phone Safety Advice for Parents / Carers

August 16, 2010

The latest Guidance and advice for 2012 is available here

 In Highland, we have a partnership approach to promoting e-safety by encouraging children and young people to use new technologies safely and responsibly. This has involved a programme of education about internet safety in our school communities.

As part of our approach we would like to offer all Parents and Carers of pupils in Highland Secondary Schools advice on the use of mobile technology. We also wish to raise awareness and specifically highlight the dangers of young people finding themselves in uncomfortable or compromising situations.

Research reported by the BBC has indicated that there is an alarming increase of instances of young people receiving unwanted images / texts or sending inappropriate images of themselves. Using phones in this way has become known as ‘sexting’, which is defined as ‘the act of sending sexually explicit images, videos or messages electronically’.  There are also future implications for young people who may not know that they could be breaking the law by receiving or sending such images. They also may be unaware that images may be circulated far and wide without their permission or knowledge.

Mobile Technology Advice – Questions and Answers

Owning a mobile phone for the first time can be very exciting and be seen as a step towards independence. As newer mobile phones become highly developed and internet accessible, they are more akin to a personal handheld computer which is constantly online, think about the same kinds of risks you would talk about with your child as if you had purchased a mini computer with integrated webcam.

What can I do to keep my child safe?

In purchasing a mobile phone, discuss firstly what your family boundaries might be, financially, insurance, theft and appropriate usage. This also may include not sharing their number with strangers or posting it on social networking site profiles.

Keep lines of communication open with your child to ensure that they are not afraid to tell you if they have received an image or are being pressurised to send any inappropriate photos of themselves. Remind them to report any images they receive to yourself or an adult they can trust. The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) Report Abuse Button is a way of them finding out about how to report concerns too. The CEOP Report Abuse button can be found at and on many social networking sites.

Remind them to switch off location devices such as Bluetooth® and maps that automatically update where they are. However some parents may wish, at certain times, for these devices to be kept switched on so that a young person could be located in emergency situations. Keeping Bluetooth® switched off keeps the device safe from receiving unsolicited images or videos. To prevent unauthorised use it may be advisable to use a password pin to unlock the phone to activate.

Remind them of the future consequences of pictures or text messages that can be widely distributed without permission or knowledge only to embarrassingly re-surface at a later date!

Mobile phone theft is often opportunistic and it is wise to remind them that they should not leave their phone in full view unattended. Each Highland secondary school will also have a policy on using mobile phones and this should be adhered to.

Remind them of street safety; it is important to be extra careful when walking, running, crossing roads or riding a bike whilst using music players on mobile phones, browsing the internet, chatting or texting.

What is the law regarding images and ‘sexting’?

The future costs for children who find themselves the subject of a Police investigation are potentially severe. They may find themselves charged with offences under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 in relation to making, possession and distribution of indecent images of children.

Ultimately this may lead to them finding themselves convicted of a serious sexual offence and placed on the Sex Offender’s Register.

What about Cyberbullying?

Being targeted by Cyberbullying, which is the use of mobile phones or technology to deliberately upset someone can be very distressing. If your child receives abusive calls or messages, it is important that they do not respond. They should report this to a parent / carer, trusted adult or teacher rather than delete the message so that evidence is kept.

Cyberbullying may also involve recording/videoing events without permission and uploading them to the internet, videoing events on mobile phones may also be a good discussion point with your child.

Where can I find further help or advice?

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre (CEOP) has a dedicated website that is for all children, young people, professionals, parents and carers.

You can also find out more about the Facebook ‘Report Abuse’ CEOP application here too. We recommend all Facebook users add this application to their profile.

Childnet International advice and guidance and a specific section called ‘Know it All’ advice for Parents and Carers.

General mobile phone advice and safety

Also, check with your preferred mobile phone service provider, they may have further advice and guidance on specific networks and internet access.

What should I do if I am concerned about a child?

Tell someone what your concerns are – speak to a teacher, a doctor, a social worker, a police officer or school nurse.

Phone 01463 703488

or contact the National Child Protection Line on: 0800 022 32 22

For General Enquiries

Protecting Highlands Children, for information on the work of the Highland Child Protection Committee

Northern Constabulary Promotes Online Safety through Facebook

July 27, 2010

Northern Constabulary is urging Facebook users across the Highlands and Islands to add a new application to make them safer online.

The Force today made the ‘app’ available on its official Facebook page to help protect children and young people in the Highlands and Islands.

The UK’s national law enforcement agency dedicated to child protection – the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre) – and Facebook, the biggest social networking site, have joined forces to develop the initiative.

For the first time, it will give all Facebook users in the UK – and especially those aged between 13 – 18 years – direct access to CEOP’s advice and reporting centre ‘ClickCEOP’ giving them the very latest help on online safety as well as a dedicated facility for reporting instances of suspected grooming or inappropriate sexual behaviour.

The access will be provided via an ‘app’ that users can add or bookmark so it appears on their profile, as not only a constant source of help and reassurance for them but also as a strong visual signal to their friends, family and others that they are in control online.

The Force is also using the Twitter service to provide the public with a direct link between Northern Constabulary and the public. The service will be used to update members of the public with information on road closures, advice during major incidents, appeals for information and crime prevention advice to name but a few.

You can “follow” the Force’s tweets by visiting and signing up to the Twitter service if you do not do so already.

The Facebook ‘app’ will be backed by a new CEOP profile – ClickCEOP – that will look to engage with young people to help raise the profile of online safety. The move is also being supported by an advertising campaign on Facebook that will encourage take up. This will include an automatic advert appearing on every profile of users aged between 13-18 years inviting them to add the app.

A Force spokesperson said: “The internet is an amazing place where we can connect with each other and have fun, but we know that young users of social networking sites can be vulnerable.

“This announcement by CEOP represents a significant step forward in keeping young people safer on Facebook and we would urge all Facebook users in Highlands and Islands to add this application. If you are a parent on Facebook, add the app and encourage your children to do so too.

“This will act as a visible deterrent to offenders and your child will receive regular online safety tips from CEOP, so you can feel reassured that they are better protected online.”

As well as adding the ClickCEOP app, there are a number of ways in which young people can stay safe when using Facebook:

* Make sure privacy settings are set to private so the only people who can see your page and information are your friends

* Some people lie about who they are online so only add friends who you know in the real world

* Block or delete people who upset you or send nasty messages

* Tell a trusted adult if you have a concern about something that has happened to you online

Jim Gamble, Chief Executive of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre said: “Today represents a huge step forward. By adding this app, Facebook users will have direct access to all the services that sit behind our ClickCEOP button and this should provide reassurance for the many parents whose teenage children use Facebook.

“We know from speaking to offenders that a visible deterrent could protect young people online. We urge all Facebook users not only to add the app, but also to bookmark it so that others can see that they’re in control online. Our dialogue with Facebook about adopting the ClickCEOP button is well documented ¿ this is a good day for child protection.”

Joanna Shields, Facebook’s Vice President for EMEA said: “Nothing is more important than the safety of our users, which is why we have invested so much in making Facebook one of the safest places on the internet.

“There is no single silver bullet to making the internet safer but by joining forces with CEOP, we have developed a comprehensive solution which marries our expertise in technology with CEOP’s expertise in online safety.

“Together we have developed a new way of helping young people stays safe online and backed this with an awareness campaign to publicise it to young users. It is only through the constant and concerted effort of the industry, police, parents and young people themselves that we can all keep safe online – whether on Facebook or elsewhere.”

CEOP’s new Facebook page will contain polls, news alerts and status updates. The page will look at topics that teenagers care about, such as celebrities, music and exams and will link these subjects to questions about online safety. The CEOP page will also give users the option to add the new ClickCEOP application.

Dealing with Inappropriate Comments on Rate My Teacher

May 19, 2010

Technology offers fantastic opportunities for children, young people and professionals. However, technology can be misused and this can be very painful for those who are targets of Cyberbullying.

Advice on ‘Rate My Teachers’

This is a global website where anonymous comments or ratings can be left for teachers by selecting the school where they teach. If anyone finds a comment that they find breaks the rules of the site or causes offence of any kind, you are able to remove this comment yourself immediately and it will be removed pending review. You can do this by ‘flagging’ the comment and selecting from a drop down menu why the comment does not follow the rules of the site.

You are able to do this without being a member of ‘Rate My Teachers’ or logging in to the site.  In Highland, it is still important to report this to the Head Teacher who may wish to notify

A specific support facility in Highland has been set up for those children, young people and staff who may find themselves targeted by Cyberbullying. Incidents of Cyberbullying should be managed according to the Cyberbullying Guidance and by using the dedicated email address

Teacher Support Scotland also have useful advice that can be found here

All education resources for ‘Internet Safety and Responsible Use’ in Highland including educating children and young people about the consequences of Cyberbullying are promoted through this Highland E-Safety site. You may wish to look at what can be done to create a culture within the learning community where everyone is advised and understands how to use the internet safely and responsibly using some of the recommended resources.

For further information in Highland please contact:

  • Louise Jones – Health Promoting Schools Manager
  • Jim Henderson – Virtual Learning Co-ordinator
  • Stewart Fraser – Legal Manager, Litigation and People

Cyberbullying. Latest research from USA.

May 10, 2010

Using drama to support E-Safety education

February 25, 2010

A new play being toured in Highland secondary schools aims to teach pupils how to use the internet responsibly and avoid cyber bullying.

“The Cyber Room” presented by Eden Court Theatre’s Arts Education Department with The Highland Council starts today (22 Feb) in Grantown Grammar and Kingussie High and will tour other Highland secondary schools until 12 March.

The plot of the play has four 15 year-olds meeting in an internet chat-room. What brings them there? Are they all who they say they are?  Is the room really what it appears to be?  Is someone trying to manipulate the encounter?

This 50-minute play, with post-show discussion, deals with: internet safety and young people; bullying, identity, responsibility and friendship in an internet setting.

The key messages that the play aims to convey are: the importance of using the internet responsibly; to encourage pupils think more carefully about they are talking to online; and to know where they can report someone whose behaviour online is causing them concern.

Councillor Bill Fernie, Chairman of The Highland Council’s Education, Culture and Sport Committee said: “Raising awareness of cyber bullying in a non-threatening way through drama is a very commendable approach at getting the message across to young people.  I am delighted that this work through our Arts Links Officer, Lynn Johnson and Health Promoting Schools Manager, Louise Jones who is also supporting other initiatives and Cyber bullying Guidance that we introduced to staff at the end of last year.”