Keeping children safe over the holidays: The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, or CEOP Command - a command of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) - has forwarded this link to share with parents. It is worth taking a look to keep up to date with current online safety issues and what to do if you are worried.
In the news there have been articles about sex offenders grooming children on social media platforms. According to the NSPCC, 32% of online grooming takes place on Instagram. Please follow the following link for the BBC story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47410520.
Instagram requires that children are at least 13 to create an account, the same applies to YouTube. In the UK the Video Standards council rate Fortnite as PEGI 12 for frequent scenes of mild violence. It is not suitable for persons under 12 years of age.
We strongly advise that age restrictions be observed on all social media platforms, games etc. The age restrictions are there for safety reasons
There is an unusual image of a piece of Japanese artwork that is being used to unsettle children called Momo. It was made for an art exhibit in Japan, three years ago. The model was made by a special effects company called Link Factory. Images of the model are used in videos that persuade children (by threat) to do unpleasant acts, disclose private information and not to tell parents. The videos may suddenly appear in anything from WhatsApp to Peppa Pig on YouTube. It is important to reassure children that Momo is not real, not to give out any information and to tell parents/teachers about anything at all that worries them.
The following link gives some information (from BT) about the game Fortnite and some concerns raised about its use by children. https://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/computing/gaming/what-is-fortnite-and-are-my-kids-addicted-11364266097259. Click here for a link to a PDF about Fortnite that has been circulated by the police to schools in Mid-Sussex but is still relevant here.
It has come to our attention that some children are using a social media platform that may have online safety implications for children. ‘Twitch’ is a relatively new app that allows for live video streaming and chat room access that may leave children vulnerable.
Other apps that have been brought to our attention this year include Musical.ly and Snapchat. Please be cautious if your child is using these apps. Please refer to the apps guidance and security settings.
A polite reminder that Facebook and Youtube are both age restricted applications: you need to be 13 to have an account.
If you wish to know about the dangers of new social media apps (e.g. Snapchat, Instagram), here is a link to Family Education that is well worth a visit.
If you are concerned about any online applications your children have been using or discussing with friends please feel free to come in and talk about this with the class teacher.
Advice available about online safety
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) - use the report abuse button for advice and to report online abuse such as grooming
Childnet International - a non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children
Digital parenting resources - helping parents help their children manage their digital world, including digital parenting magazine
Get safe online - practical advice on how to protect yourself, your computers and mobile devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses and other problems encountered online
Internet Matters - an independent, not-for-profit organisation to help parents keep their children safe online
Sussex Police online safety - frequently asked questions
Internet Watch Foundation - report illegal content online
Parenting in the Digital Age (PitDA) - a new programme to help parents apply their parenting skills to the online world
Parent Port - run by the UK's media regulators to set and enforce standards across the media to protect children from inappropriate material
NSPCC online safety - helpful advice and tools you can use to keep your children safe online
Net aware - NSPCC and O2 have joined forces to provide you detailed advice as to all social media platforms
UK Safer Internet Centre - tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe on the internet.
Family Education - an American site that gives information about current apps.