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Swot Up blog - hints, tips, news and events from the 11 plus swot world

The Internet, Safer Than Your Local Library?

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20 years ago, researching the finer details of the eleven plus exam would have been restricted to sifting through literature in your dads bookcase before waiting for the library to open on a Monday morning. Nowadays, thanks to the internet & Google in particular, a wealth of information is at our children's fingertips.

We live in a world where everything is available at the click of a button, whether we are looking for that piece of information or not. Ok, so there are issues with internet safety. Parents are becoming increasingly concerned that their child is being corrupted, when they are probably happily researching away. If this is you, don't worry the internet is here to help.

How can I change the security settings on my computer?

Internet browsing can easily be made more secure by changing a few settings on your browser. Although browsers vary from Explorer, to Google Chrome & Safari, the settings in essence are the same for all providers. For the commonly used Internet Explorer, click settings > internet options > security & increase the sensitivity level to your taste. For other browsers, help about changing settings can be found, well, under the help option.

What does a high sensitivity level mean?

A high sensitivity level will block sites;

  • That "may contain" harmful content (that's pretty much everything you need worry about blocked)
  • Maximum safeguards (that's the obvious stuff blocked, plus a little more)
  • Less secure features (If your browser suspects anything at all, whether it's a pop up or a site with invalid credentials, these will not appear, just to be safe)

On top of this, it is easy to block specific sites (for example, games sites if the computer is only to be used for homework). We also recommend blocking pop up's as these are the source of most offence.

What happens if these settings still fail?

Click CEOP, a site designed to report the abuse of children, are spot on when it comes to reporting suspect activity on the internet. Their safety button can be downloaded here. Now, if your child stumbles across a lucrative site during their 11+ revision, or if they are the subject of cyber bullying, this can easily be reported and stopped.

What has this got to do with libraries?

The internet is a big place, as is the world. Children can get lost along the way and need a little guidance, whether it's telling them not to walk down a certain alley way en route to the library or ensuring that they don't visit certain sites on the internet. Your child will likely make the decision which route to take by themselves, the main advantage of the internet being that you can guide them whichever way you like with a clever use of settings.

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