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The Piggott School

A Church of England Academy

Personal Safety Advice & Support - Technology

Technology Addiction 

Useful Websites  Media & Child Health - Video Game Addition Help - Addiction Helper


What is Internet and Gaming Addiction? 

 
Addiction to the internet and video games is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly among teenagers. Gaming and use of the internet becomes a problem when it interferes with the social life, personal life and work life of the individual. Many people turn to the internet or video games as a way of coping with problems in their lives or stress and depression. This can quickly become an addiction. In particular, video games provide a fantasy escape from real-life problems. As such, video game addiction is commonly suffered by teens who are shy or socially awkward.
 
Signs, Symptons and Risks of Internet and Gaming Addiction 
 
The first warning sign of an internet or gaming addiction is spending increasing amount of time online or playing games. Addicts might begin to fall behind at school or at work. They may become less sociable and start to neglect friends and family. They may get irritable when they’re not sat at their computer, and experience a sense of euphoria while involved in computer or internet activities. Internet and gaming addicts often feel anxiety, depression, guilt and shame as a result of their behaviour. The nature of the compulsive behaviour can lead to sleep deprivation and physical symptoms such as back and neck pains, weight loss, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.
 
Top tips on Dealing with Gaming Addiction 
 
  • Have the computer in public room such as living room.
     
  • Check the content of the game before you buy.
    Provide games that are educational rather than violent. Just as you wouldn’t dream of allowing your children to watch an 18-certificate film, ‘18’ games for the X-Box or PlayStation will also contain inappropriate content, graphic language and violence. Suggest games like ‘Mario’ or ‘FIFA World Cup’ which don’t contain violence.
     
  • Encourage gaming in groups, rather than as a solitary activity. This will lead to children and adolescents talking and working together.
     
  • Come to an agreement about time limits. Gaming can be a great release from homework and other pressures but so can kicking a ball about or riding a bike. Resist using gaming as a substitute babysitter when you’re busy or for a quiet life.
     
  • To avoid arguments on both sides, parents need to understand that online games often can’t just be ‘stopped’ in mid-flow – players may be part of a ‘team’ or need to get to a certain place in the game to ‘save’. Rather than a ‘Right, time’s up’ approach, remind them when there’s 10 minutes left so they can start thinking about when and where to stop.
     
  • Make sure children sit at least two feet from the screen, play games in a well-lit room, never have the screen at maximum brightness, and stop when they’re feeling tired.
     
  • To avoid your child/teenager playing at night when you’re in bed, don’t let them keep the computer in their rooms, advises The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). Keep it in a family room. This also allows you to monitor the games they’re playing.
     
  • Get involved: Talk to your child about what they’re playing and how they should behave when they are gaming. They should be encouraged not to accept ‘cheats’ or talk to people that they don’t know in the real world. If anyone asks them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable they should come straight to you.
     
  • Make sure you continue to do things as a family, such as sitting down at the table to eat meals together or, if possible, having a weekly cinema/DVD night.
     
  • Establish some computer house rules: No meals at the computer, homework must be done before playing etc.
     
  • Talk to your child about why they are spending so much time online, and what they are doing. Try and find and encourage your child into an offline activity that links in with their online interests. For example children who enjoy role-play fantasy games might equally enjoy reading fantasy fiction or playing traditional fantasy board games.
     
  • If all else fails, temporarily prohibit gaming and then allow them to play again on a part-time basis when appropriate.

 

Manage Internet Access & Protect Your Devices 
Managing Your Computer to Protect Your Children 
 
In todays world there is a need to manage what your child can access and do through your computer to keep them safe. There are many products out there that can help you control and monitor your child's use of the family computer, below are a few suggestions that you may wish to consider that won't dent your wallet but will give you peace of mind about what your child is doing and accessing on the computer.
 
Restricting Browsing on the Internet 
 
Regulating web browsing can prevent children from accessing dangerous content on the internet, or having to make judgement calls over suitable relationships in chat-rooms.
 
An open Internet is unsafe for children and parenting in this digital age is difficult. K9 provide tools for parents to control unwanted content and provide a safe Internet for your family. K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts you in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids. Below is a link to their site:
 
Internet Explorer is a common program for accessing the internet and controls can be set within this program to prevent this happening, the link below will connect you to a  site with instructions on how to do this.
 
Having Complete Control of Your Computer 
 
Owners of computers that run Windows have access to parental controls that are a comprehensive set of tools to restrict and keep an eye on the computer usage of your children. The link below shows you how:
 
If you own a Mac you also have parental controls available to you to control what your child can access and use, the link below shows you how:
 
Chronager gives you complete control over your childs use of the computer. It enables you to restrict the times when the computer can be used, and when your child may surf the Internet, play games, use particular programs, and watch movies.
Cyber Bullying 

Useful WebsitesKidScape - ChildLine - STOP CyberBullying
 

What is Cyberbullying? 
Cyberbullying is defined as the use of technology, such as the internet or text messaging to post derogatory or hateful material about another.
 
Cyberbullying is put into two categories:
 
Synchronic: Considered “LIVE” bullying or technology that allows for real time.
  • Chat rooms
  • Instant messaging
  • Cell phones-text messaging
  • Online gaming, i.e. (World of War Craft, XBOX live)
Asynchronic: Technologies that allows for delayed and permanent posting of communication Social networking sites, i.e. (Facebook, Myspace)
  • email
  • youtube.com
 
Those Most Effected 
 
Ages 9-14 are most commonly known as both victims and bullies. Of those who are cyberbullied frequently:
  • 62% were cyberbullied by a student from their school
  • 46% were cyberbullied from a friend
  • 55% did not know who had cyberbullied them
 
Motivators for Cyberbullying 
 
  • Self-protection or Revenge.
  • Bored (bullying is entertaining).
  • Ego-based; promote status.
  • Want reaction, want to control others.
  • Socially isolated person taking revenge on others who may be bullying them at school.
     
NB: Technology makes the rumour mill move faster and it is easier to be cruel when you are anonymous.
 
 
How to Recognise if your Child is being Cyberbullied? 
 
  • Computer Avoidance.
  • Computer Obsession.
  • Change in behaviour at home.
  • Change in behaviour at school / school avoidance.
  • Children will want to be on the computer to see if anything else is being written for others to see.
  • Nightmares
  • Any change in their behaviour is usually a sign something is going on in their world.
 
Tips for Parents 
 
  • As parents establish home rules regarding cyberbullying. Talk to your children about what it is, and come up with a plan.
  • If you see it, print it or take a screen shot of it.
  • Address it.
  • Talk to the parents if you know that child.
  • Talk to the students involved if you know them.
  • Teach your child to only talk to children that they know on the computer.
  • Teach your children not to talk to strangers.
  • According to the National Crime Prevention Centre, over 40% of all teenagers with Internet access have reported being bullied online during the past year.
  • Girls are more likely than boys to be the target of cyberbullying. There is a direct correlation to the amount of time girls spend online and the likelihood that they will be bullied.
  • The National Crime Prevention study found that only 10% of those children who were bullied told their parents about the incident, and that a mere 18% of the cases were reported to a local or national law enforcement agency.
  • Only 15% of parents are “in the know” about their children's social networking habits, and how these behaviours can lead to cyberbullying.
 
Statistics from a Recent Study 
 
  • 58% of KS 3 and KS 4 students reported having mean or cruel things said to them online.
  • 53% said that they have said mean or hurtful things to others while online.
  • 42% of those studied said that they had been “bullied online”, but almost 60% have never told their parents about the incident.
  • Cell phone cameras and digital cameras are a growing problem in the cyberbullying world. A recent survey found that 10% of 770 young people surveyed were made to feel “threatened, embarrassed or uncomfortable” by a photo taken of them using a cell-phone camera
Online Safety 
The key message is to 'Be Smart on the Internet'.
 

S

SAFE
Stay safe by being careful not to give out personal information to people you are chatting with online.

M

MEETING
Meeting someone who you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents' permission and only when they can accompany you.

A

ACCEPTING
Accepting emails, instant messages or opening files and pictures from people you don't know or trust can lead to problems - they may contain viruses or nasty messages!

R

RELIABLE
Information you find on the internet may not be true, or someone online may be lying about who they are.

T

TELL
Tell your parent, carer or an adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.
 
 
The E-Safety 5Ps for Parents
 
1
 
POSITIVE
Stay positive about social networking sites. Strike a balance between educating children to behave safely and trusting them to get on with it.
2
 
PRIVACY
Make sure children know how to use privacy settings. Explain the importance of keeping information private and not sharing everything with everyone. Check they know all their online friends. If they don't, delete them.
3
 
PHOTOS
Check that any photos posted are suitable. Photos can easily be copied, changed or circulated. They can potentially stay online forever.
4
 
POSTINGS
Establish ground rules about what is and isn't acceptable to say - about themselves and others.
5
 
PARENTS
Encourage children to tell you about inappropriate contact that makes them feel uncomfortable. Offensive images or messages can be reported to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.