Safeguarding: Safer Internet Day

Last week marked Safer Internet Day. This year’s slogan was ‘An internet we trust – exploring reliability in the online world’. The campaign promotes the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

In these times of national lockdown, the online world is becoming an ever-present part of all of our lives – catching up with friends and family on Zoom, holding work meetings, shopping online, looking up the latest COVID-19 data, Googling symptoms you may be feeling and so on.

In my previous role as a Deputy Head in a school, dealing with cyberbullying and e-safety matters was an ever increasing part of my safeguarding role. Young people have so much access to technology these days and it is important for us, as adults, not only to support them as they encounter this ever-developing technology, but also to familiarise ourselves with the world that they are stepping into.

Thinking back to Children’s Mental Health Week last week, it is important to bear your mental health in mind as you spend more time online. Remember to take breaks away from your screen – go out and get some fresh air, make yourself a cup of tea, talk to someone.

If you are in a group Zoom meeting and you can see that a work colleague or a friend is quieter than usual or not quite themselves, how about picking up the phone afterwards and just checking in with them or sending them a message to see how they are.

Solent Mind has a brilliant toolkit for those working from home at the moment which you may find useful: