Dealing with the perils of online communication and safety in the social media world is one of the biggest issues confronting our young people today. Parents are also under pressure to ensure that their children are developing safe practices around social media use.
Just when we think we understand how to maintain privacy and safety, the goalposts shift through updates in Apps and various social media tools. To make sure staff, students and parents are aware of the issues, we have linked with a great organisation called Safe on Social, who supports our school through professional learning for our staff, sessions for our students and information for our parents.
Easily found on our website under the Information Tab, are a set of esafety resources that can be downloaded by parents and students. These relate to the most popular sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and many others. We are hoping that parents will access this information and the other links on the website.
One of the most important tools to stay safe is to turn off Location Services on your mobiles. There is a recent update from Snapchat that is particularly worrying in terms of its tracking exactly where the snapchat is coming from on a map unless you have location services turned off.
Once a user updates to the latest version of the app, all they need to do to launch Snap Map is pinch the Snapchat camera home screen. From there, they can choose to share their location with all of their friends, select some of them, or choose none of them by using ‘Ghost Mode’, which hides them from the map but still allows them to track their friends.
Next term, High School students will have further educational talks around staying safe on social media with Kirra Pendergast from Safe on Social. This follows the excellent work of Peter Chown this term who spoke to the students about avoiding addictive behaviour in relation to mobile phones and how to keep the brain healthy with these challenges. The parent talk he gave was very illuminating, however unfortunately not many parents attended the talk.
The students will be experiencing some presentations in Term 3 about how to stay safe online with Safe on Social. Very specific information will be shared about settings on mobile phones and how to protect your digital footprint. Students will also have the usual presentations from Lisa Romero, who brings an anthroposophical approach to young people managing the challenges of adolescent life.
Please assist our work by accessing the information on our website and being vigilant with your teenager’s online behaviour.