Children are growing up in a world with a bigger range of online activities than ever before and it is sometimes very hard for both children and adults to know how to stay safe.
Parents/Online Safety Information
Most parents will want to reduce the risks to their children, and remembering to set parental controls can reduce the risks to children, and reduce the risk to parents when children accidentally spend online money! The internet matters website explains this quite well. Online safety is not just about protecting children from some of the dangers of the internet – it is also about helping them manage their use of technology and most of the parental controls allow adults to set a maximum time for the use of a device or app.
Internet Matters is a site paid for by many British companies. It has a lot of good advice on adding parental controls as well as on most aspects of online safety. Parental controls will only help keep children safe. The best safety feature that a child has is their parent or carer. Take the time to talk to your child about the apps and games they are using and don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!
The range of online apps changes on a regular basis and the NSPCC have a site called Net Aware. This provides unbiased up-to-date information on current apps and sites along with advice to parents about dealing with issues.
The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002. They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.
ThinkUKnow is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency. It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues. It also has lots of games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.
For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue. LGfL have produced a lovely free video which has some great advice and a very catchy song!
Many children will at times suffer from online bullying. It is really important that they have someone they can talk to and know that it is not acceptable. Most apps and sites will have systems inn place that allow bullying to be reported. Your child’s school may be able to help.
Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice on anything that is worrying them.
Finally since 2015 is has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child (This is Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015). If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device. This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved. The Police can be contacted by phone or from the ThinkUKnow website.
Here, we’ll bring you E-safety news just as soon as we get it. Remember to contact school if you’re ever unsure, or need some advice.Live streaming: responding to the risks (National Crime Agency/CEOP)
Parent Check – Infographic
A useful visual resource for parents when you just want to check about your child’s online activity..
Think Before You Scare.!
LGfL produced a useful blog for DSL’s at https://safeblog.lgfl.net/2018/11/parents-scare-or-prepare/
Before children use a new app parents should:
Take an active interest in your child’s online life and talk with them about how they use technology.
Ask your child why they want to use the app? How did they hear about it?
Discuss with them how they will keep themselves safe and make sure they know:
- How to block and report other users and content
- To speak to a trusted adult if they see anything or something happens online that makes them feel worried, upset or uncomfortable.
- About websites such as ChildLine and CEOP? www.childline.org.uk and www.thinkuknow.co.uk
Make sure that you understand how the app works so you can decide if you are happy for your child to use it. You may even wish to set up an account yourself first.
- Does it allow video chat or the sharing of images?
- Does it allow user to communicate with ‘random’ strangers?
- Does it allow anonymous chat?
- Does it allow in-app purchases?
- Can you restrict access to the content that your child shares?
- How will your child’s personal data be used by the app?
What do other people (i.e. other parents and carers) have to say about the app?
You can usually find age restrictions within the apps terms and conditions. This is not the same as the app/google store rating.
The age limit for many popular social networking sites is thirteen. This is due to American Legislation called COPPA. The age limit is not based on suitability of content and instead applies to any website, app or online service which collects, stores or uses children’s personal information. Some apps will have age limits of 18+ as they are exclusively designed for use by adults.
If children use apps that are aimed at an older age group then this may leave them vulnerable to being exposed to unsuitable content (including advertising), as well as being contacted by strangers.
Many popular apps will have ‘help’ and ‘safety’ sections, either within the app itself or via its website. Some apps will even have content specifically designed for parents and carers.
www.saferinternet.org.uk has some useful parent guides which highlight safety tools on popular devices, and signpost to report mechanisms.
Does the app have any privacy settings? If so then help your child to apply them appropriately – for example is it possible to set the app so that only trusted friends can see information they post?
Explore the block and report features. Can your child block or report concerning users or inappropriate behaviour?
If the app doesn’t have safety or help sections or doesn’t provide the ability to report and block then you may wish to consider if it is safe for your child to use.
Talk to your child about safe and appropriate online behaviour.
Consider setting up a family agreement regarding how their internet use will be supervised and how long they can spend online. Resources to help can be found at www.childnet.com andwww.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/share-aware/
Discuss your expectations about the types of content and information they should share online, rules relating to adding friends and meeting people in real life.
Do they understand:
- That content posted online should never be considered to be private and may be copied and shared?
- That they should behave online the same as they would in “the real world” and be kind?
- How to be secure online such as by using safe and strong passwords. You can visitwww.getsafeonline.org.uk for more advice
Please follow the link below to find out more.
You may be aware of the recent article in the Northern Echo that warned parents about a popular YouTube character called Jeffy.
Here is some more detailed information about Jeffy that we would like to share with you.
What and who is Jeffy?
Jeffy the puppet is a popular character from the SuperMarioLogan universe of YouTube channels. The channels and videos have been around for over 10 years and are nothing new. The video content features popular plush toys from the Super Mario universe along with other plush toys, dolls and puppets acting out a variety of stories. These stories are often rude, offensive and bizarre in nature. The humour is very similar to what you would see in the popular TV adult cartoon show Family Guy or the movie Ted. The content in the videos feature a lot of toilet humour, use very explicit and offensive language which is often sexual in nature. The humour is often racist in content and uses a lot of racial stereotypes for some of its other characters. Some of the videos feature rude songs that are often repeated by children and young people.
The Channel is aimed at adults and it states on its homepage that the content is for a mature audience. In 2018 the people behind the channel added age restrictions to its videos to try to prevent children from watching them.
Jeffy who was introduced to the channel around 2016 is portrayed as a character with learning difficulties who often acts very inappropriately using offensive and sexually explicit language. He is easily recognisable as he always wears a blue helmet, a nappy outside his pants and normally has a pencil shoved up his nose.
Despite being targeted towards adults Jeffy has been a very popular character with children and young people for a long while now. You can even buy Jeffy dolls and t-shirts on Amazon and many other retail stores and despite the adult content in the videos the t-shirts sizes start from age 5 and up.
Over the years stories about Jeffy and the negative influence he can have on children have popped up in national and local newspapers across the world and despite this his popularity has grown. His video channel on YouTube has over 6 million followers from around the world. Jeffy’s most popular video has over 40 million views.
Jeffy is not going to go away anytime soon in fact Jeffy the movie is currently being made which will only lead to a further increase in popularity.
What can we do –
YouTube features millions of different videos and a lot of the content is not suitable for children. YouTube is also very difficult to moderate and as a result a lot of content that isn’t suitable for children often does not get flagged. You also need to be aware that content that has age restrictions on it are often copied and uploaded by other users without the age restrictions in place.
Parents and carers need to realise that not all content on YouTube is suitable for children and parental controls need to be put in place to prevent children from watching inappropriate content. However the best parental controls in the world can’t stop everything. Ideally primary age children should be supervised at all times when using YouTube to prevent them from watching inappropriate content such as Jeffy.
Seven possible conversations to have with your child around E-safety. A really useful resource flagged up by our fabulous parent, Clare.
Live streaming: responding to the risks (National Crime Agency/CEOP)
Live streaming is a popular feature of lots apps and platforms. By understanding the risks of live streaming, we can help children stay safe when they are online. ThinkUKnow has produced a guide to help parents understand why live-streaming is so popular, and how to keep children safe.
You can find the article here: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/articles/live-streaming-responding-to-the-risks/
We have been informed about an incident in a primary school where children received obscene images and messages ( which may not have originated in this country ) and so we would like to remind parents about some online safety issues.
Both Instagram and Twitter have a minimum age policy of 13. Whilst many parents choose to allow younger children to use these services we cannot recommend this. To keep their children safe on social media parents should ensure that the correct privacy settings are enabled, and that appropriate adult supervision is provided.
Further information is available at the NSPCC website Net Aware
In addition, if you would like a free copy of the Vodafone Digital Parenting Guide then please click below:
Nearly half of teenagers surveyed in new study stated cyberbullying is bigger problem than drug abuse and as many as one in five teenagers has been subjected to cyberbullying, a study has found.
Help and Advice
If you find something on the internet or someone has made you sad or scared you should tell your mum, dad or the person who looks after you at home or a teacher at school. If you would like to talk to someone else we have added some links to the Advice Help and Report Centre on the website. You can contact people who are friendly and helpful by following the link for your age group.
- Gaming – Advice for Parents
- Do you really know who your children are talking to online
- I can’t keep up! My child knows more about technology than me
- E-safety Schemes of Work
- Keeping Children Safe Online
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