Keeping Our Children Safe Online

Netsafe and Snap Chat

Keeping our children safe on-line is becoming an almost overwhelming daily battle, but it is one that we, as parents, cannot ignore nor neglect. As Christians, we know that God states plainly through the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5 v 8 ‘Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.’ The Message version is even more relevant to the situation we now find ourselves in…’Keep a cool head! Stay alert! The devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping!’ Parents, if your child has a smart phone you need to be aware of what is so easily accessible, available and possibly influencing your children. I urge you to access the following website which will help you to understand and navigate your way through the parental challenges we find before us: 

Netsafe was founded in 1998 to help New Zealand internet users stay safe online. It was well before smartphones were smart, or media had learned to be social but it was clear new technologies were connecting New Zealand internet users to new challenges. After noticing the growing influence of technology in their respective areas, the New Zealand Police, Ministry of Education and several not for profits teamed up to create an independent body focused on online safety. As digital technology use grows and evolves at a rapid pace in society, it becomes more important for Netsafe to help people manage and reduce the risk of online harm’

Netsafe have specific tabs for parents and young people and will help you understand everything you need to know about:

  • On-line security
  • On-line bullying and harassment
  • Sexting
  • The Harmful Digital Communications Act [it is now illegal to ask for, send, receive or send on any image that is deemed inappropriate]
  • Reporting on-line incidents
  • Where to go for assistance 0508 NETSAFE (638723)

In addition, please be aware of Snap Chat. This is a highly popular app across all year groups which young people download to send pictures and messages that they believe will disappear after 10 seconds. In its more innocent form, it can provide an opportunity to send funny photos and communicate with friends. However, Snap Save can also be downloaded and allows for the recipient to save images, as does using a screen shot. Recently, Snap Chat has added a new function called ‘My Eyes Only’ in the form of a small red icon within the Snap Chat app. This allows any image collected using Snap Chat to be saved into a password protected folder. [Snapchat isn’t intended for children under the age of 13. Teens aged 13-17 should have permission from a parent or legal guardian to use the app. A Snapchat account can be deleted by entering the child’s username and password.]

Finally, please diary Tuesday August 1st as we have secured David and Katie Kobler to run a parents’ information evening covering, among other things, cyber use, pressures around body image, dating and sex for our teenagers – all from a Christian perspective.

If you have any concerns that we can assist you with, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s Dean, Heads of School, our school counsellors or me directly. Contact e mail addresses and phone numbers are on the school website or ring reception on 348 9826.

Mā te Atua e manaaki,

Megan Cassidy

Associate Principal