Filesharing and Content Viewing

For many children and young people the Internet is a trusted source of information. Youth (and parents) can often fail to realise the breadth of information available at the click of a button, much of which can be highly inappropriate for children to view. The Internet includes millions of websites containing pornographic, indecent and violent imagery, hateful and discriminatory attitudes, and inaccurate information that a child or young person might perceive to be true.

As the use of technology becomes commonplace in the classroom, teachers and youth professionals have many opportunities to teach children about Internet or ‘e-safety’, and help to avoid incidents of technology misuse and abuse.

  • Encourage children to double check their facts and research offline when completing homework tasks – anyone can publish information on the Internet. Using credible sources for research will help to avoid mistakes.
  • Help children to understand how to use caution when surfing the net. Although schools and other public facilities often have filtering software to block inappropriate content on computers, at home this is rarely the case. Children need to know how to navigate Internet browsing safely, and what to do if they see something upsetting.
  • Teach children about the online reporting system and ‘Report It’ button created by CEOP, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
  • Warn children not to open emails or attachments to emails if they are unsure about the content or sender.

File Sharing

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally stored information, such as computer programmes, multimedia (audio, images and video), documents or electronic books. File sharing is a hugely beneficial way of quickly sharing documents, programmes and other forms of information between computers or devices.

However, some forms of file sharing can be illegal – sharing copyrighted material without authorisation is against the law. This can include copying and sharing music or video files. Check the copyright laws online before sharing files, and help young people to understand the impact of file sharing by discussing the legalities of the practice.