Unpleasant web-based 'challenges' have been around for a while. One such challenge is called 'Momo' and it has recently resurfaced via YouTube and other social networks.
National Online Safety (NOS) has produced a useful guide that we would strongly encourage parents to read. NOS has also provided the image below.
Link to National Online Safety Momo guide for parents
Many children enjoy playing computer games. However, it's important that we make the right choices in providing games that are appropriate and safe. The NSPCC has produced a very useful article on the safe use of computer games:
One game in particular has been very popular recently - Fortnite. Again, the NSPCC have written a very useful article linked to the game, and we strongly recommend that parents read the article if they've chosen to allow their children to play Fortnite:
Safer Internet Day 2018 took place on February 6th 2018. Pupils around the school took part in a range of activities, with many receiving a certificate in acknowledgement of their efforts.
PC Briggenshaw visited the school on February 8th, meeting with parents from across the school. The sessions were very informative, with plenty of very useful tips shared:
We have written previously about the dangers of Roblox - click for link - but we would like to remind parents that Roblox is not recommended.
The dangers of live streaming have been in the national news recently; you may have seen the article on the BBC news, where live streaming is described as an 'urgent threat':
We though it would be useful to direct you to information about what live streaming is and how you can keep your family safe from the risks. CEOP have produced detailed guidance on the Think U Know website that we would strongly encourage you to read:
Please do contact us in school if we can support or help with this, or any e-safety concerns you may have.
To keep our children safe, social networks have age limits. According to a recent survey by the NSPCC, more than half of the parents surveyed were unaware of such age restrictions. As such, we thought it would be useful to share the age limits with yourselves.
Facebook requires its users to be 13 before they create an account, including registering an account on behalf of someone.
The minimum age of use for WhatsApp was prevoiusly 16 but it has recently been changed to 13.
To have a YouTube account users must be 18, or 13 with parental permission.
To have a Twitter account users must be 13.
To have an Instagram account users must be 13.
At school, our pupils can be subjected to peer pressure to have access to some or all of the above listed networks. We encourage our pupils to be resilient to such pressure, remembering that there are so many more valuable and enjoyable ways to spend time. In discussion with parents, quite often the line used by pupils is, 'everyone else has it'; this, of course, isn't always the case.
We'd also like make parents aware of the dangers of pupils sharing mobile phone numbers to group chats. When shared to a group chat, all members of the group can access the mobile phone number.
We encourage our pupils to:
Zip, Block, Flag
Zip - don't give away personal information online.
Block - block people/strangers who send inappropriate messages.
Flag - tell a trusted adult if anything online makes you feel unhappy.
Tips to ensure you don't receive any unexpected bills:
1. Apple users - setup restrictions on your devices to disable in-app purchases (General > Restrictions > In-app purchases), ITunes on a Mac or PC can also be configured with restrictions.
2. Android users - ensure authentication is turned on - guide from Google on preventing unwanted purchases
3. Windows 10 users - make sure you take advantage of 'family settings' - guide from Microsoft
4. Keep your App store/Windows Store/Google Play password safe, and ensure your children can't change or guess it.
Ofcom have produced a series of video guides demonstrating how to prevent shocks from bills:
Link to Ofcom website
We would like to warn parents about the dangers of location sharing online. One app that has featured in the news is 'Snapchat'; Snapchat has recently been upgraded to include a 'SnapMap' feature, potentially allowing a user's location to be viewed by other users.
We highly recommended that you spend time with your child and any devices that they have, ensuring that any location sharing options are set appropriately. SnapMap has a feature called 'Ghost Mode' that prevents users viewing locations.
Whilst location tracking can be useful for parents to check the location of a child's phone, such information in the hands of a stranger could be dangerous.
More information can be found at the BBC site below, including details about how to disable location sharing:
ThinkUKnow also publish a very useful guide to Snapchat:
Link to ThinkUKnow guide to Snapchat
Many of our students have expressed an interest in YouTube, either for watching or publishing videos. As such, we thought it would be useful to direct you to a very useful guide created by Think U Know. Think U Know have also published other guides for parents relating to popular technology that children use.
Link to YouTube guide
Link to Think U Know How To Guides - https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/How-to-guides/