Top Tips for Tablets and Smartphones

Top Tips for Tablets and Smartphones

E-Safety Newsletter for Parents/Carers

Sept January 2016

Welcome back to the new academic year andto ourNew Year January 2016e-Safety Newsletter. Please continue to check out our dedicated e-Safety Page under the Parent/Carer tab on our website – for the very latest news and up to date technology.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas break - although it already feels like a long time ago to us here at the TCES Group!
With lots of pupils receiving mobile phones or tablets for Christmas, I thought January was a good time to look at the thorny subject of premium rate services.
Many of you will get nasty surprises in your phone bills this year when your child(ren) play online games or make in-app purchases that are charged to their mobile accounts. See below top tips for tablet and smartphones on how to set parental controls to stop the bills mounting up.

Top tips for tablets and smartphones

The key thing is to explain to your children that they are spending real money, even when the app itself was free. Tell them always to check with you before buying or signing up to something online, on their phone or tablet. The world they are in may be virtual, but the money is not!
Follow these rules:

  • Before downloading an app, check the permissions for in-app purchases and the reviews for the app.
  • Although an app is free for download, it may incur charges later or for upgrading to the next level or for ad-free versions.
  • Explain to your child that even when playing free games on a mobile device, buying extra lives, coins or moving to the next may cost real money.
  • Tell your children to be careful where they click on their devices (for example ‘buy’ buttons) as this can lead to spending real money.
  • Quizzes, competitions and prize draws may cost money for taking part.

Put parental controls in place

Parental controls can never provide a complete safeguard, but they are an additional tool to complement talking to your child(ren) about spending real money through purchasing virtual items in apps.

For Android OS- On an Android phone or tablet, apps are downloaded from the Google Play Store. On the device, open the Play Store app, touch the Menuicon SettingsRequire authentication for purchases and then choose a setting.

For iOS- On the iOS device, go to SettingsGeneralRestrictions and then tap Enable Restrictions. Now you’ll see what’s allowed on the device. To prevent in-app purchases only, turn off In-App Purchases. If you want to disable purchasing completely, turn off iTunes Store, iBooks Store, Installing Apps, and In-App Purchases.

Note: if you make an in-app purchase on your iPhone by entering the password, you will be able to do so without the password for at least another 15 minutes. Bear this in mind if you allow a purchase for your child and then hand the phone back to them.

For Windows OS- On your computer, go to and sign in with the Microsoft account you've set up as a parent account. Select your child's account from the list. Go to the Purchase & spending page, then use the control for Windows Phone 8 purchases.

For more information and advice see

Engaging with e-Safety

It is not always easy to figure out whether a new app, game or film is appropriate so as part of our engagement with parent/carers I will be running sessions at our different school sites in London and Essex on topics such as: Understanding Age Ratings – the basis systems used to rate websites apps video games and tips on how to use them to make decisions about the content your child sees, The Basics of Parental Controls- the benefits and limitations and some of the most common types, and Legal Highs –

The drugs commonly known as legal highs, what they are, the risks, their legal status, what young people think of them and what you can do to help. There is also lots of handouts on a variety of subjects.

If you are interested in attending one of the above sessions please contact your school administrator for dates of upcoming sessions.

Upcoming sessions will also be stated on the parent/carer e-safety page on our website.

As an adoptive parent/carer you’ll need to balance protecting your child from these risks with giving them the freedom to explore the online world.

1.Talk to your child about privacy settings. Help your child work out what privacy settings are, how they work and why they are important. And ensure the rest of your family are also careful what you post publicly, especially about your adopted child

2.Discuss what you child would do if their birth family reached out online. Talk to your child and try to make a plan for how they will respond if someone from their birth family contacts them. Reassure them that it’s normal to be curious about their past, including the people in it – but make sure they know they can come to you with any questions they might have.

3.Don’t be afraid to get help. If you think something is not right, trust your instincts. You can talk to your child’s adoption agency about contact from birth families, and always call 999 if your think you child is in immediate danger.

4.Take interest in your child’s online life. There are lots of ways for you to get involved in your child’s life without being too negative or restrictive. Asking them to show you their favourite websites and games will help you enjoy the internet together and give you the positive window into their online world.

As Always Stay Safe

Lesley -

E-Safety Officer & CEOP Ambassador

Enclosed: How to make social media safer for children from the Parentzone

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