Category Archives: cybersafety

TikTok – find time to read this

Capture

The popularity of TikTok has rocketed over the past months, and so those wonderful people at National Online Safety have produced a fantastic guide to TikTok for parents.

It is well worth a read if your child uses the app, or has been asking about it.  Click the image below to download a PDF version.

Annotation 2020-01-10 142611

A Smart Move?

An inevitable purchase as children get older seems to be a smartphone, and Christmas is a common time when they are bought.  As they move onto secondary education, staying in touch is an important consideration, but with this benefit there is the risk of potential pitfalls regarding personal safety and wellbeing.

There has been a fantastic guide published today by National Online Safety that I hope may of some use for anyone considering buying such a device for a young person that could start some great discussions.  Click on the image below for a PDF version.

smartphones

Fortnite 2

Fortnite 2 seems to be making headline news these days – it is that popular I guess!  Even though it is aimed at children 12 and above, there are many in the country below this age who play, and there are risks to wellbeing and safety.

To help with this, we can recommend this terrific and useful guide for parents that covers the main questions they may have.

Screenshot 2019-10-17 at 14.29.57.png

Live Streaming – a short guide for parents

title.JPG

As part of our ongoing commitment to raising the profile of staying safe online, I thought I’d share this short guide with you.  Live Streaming is an ever-increasing part of life on the web for young people, either as viewers of such streams, or by sharing their own activities with a wide audience.  Although very prevalent in gaming circles, live streaming is covering an ever-increasing range of topics and interests.

As age-restrictions are not always enforced by sites, or even ignored by many young people and there parents, understanding potential risks is never a bad thing.  This guide from the awesome thinkuknow team is a great introduction to the subject.

tuk

#SaferInternetDay2019

Tuesday was Safer Internet Day 2019, and every class took part in activities aimed at raising the awareness of consent.

Capture

Class 1 talked about how to ask a trusted adult if they ever came across anything when playing on a tablet or computer that asked them a question they were unsure of, and how to ask permission before they go to certain sites and apps.  They created some wonderful posters in the session, here are a couple:

From the questionnaires that KS2 completed, it was evident that the overwhelming number of children enjoyed going online for a wide range of purposes from chilling with Netflix to playing games with friends.

We looked at the concept of personal information and how if it belongs to you, you should have the control to decide what happens to it.  Many didn’t realise that pictures are a form of personal information, and posting them online without permission can lead to problems.  It was well-understood that it is important and polite to ask for consent from people if we want to share pictures of them and respect their wishes.

SID2019-1

 

We also looked at how companies and other organisations on the internet have to ask for your consent if they wish to use your personal information, and what they may use it for.

In all situations, we explored the important message that it is OK to say NO.  It is YOUR information, YOU own it, it is up to YOU what happens to it.

Some children made some pledges at the end of the day related to consent:

It was also pleasing to see from the questionnaire responses that many pupils ask for permission before they use technology at home, and if they want to get a new game or app.  Staying safe online and respecting others in the online world are becoming ever-important and it is reassuring to know that so many parents are sharing their children’s journeys and development in the digital age.

A lot can change in 15 years

Commonsense.org is one of many important organisations that aim to ensure that children have every opportunity possible to grow up in a safer world.  Although there is a focus in the US due to their origins, there is a wealth of information and advice for parents worldwide.  With posts on topics from Fortnite to online harassment, their blog is a terrific way to keep up to date with such issues.

commonsense2

As part of their 15th anniversary, they have created a superb timeline that covers important developments in technology in that time, and it includes some fascinating statistics.  The one that caught my eye was that in 2014, the number of mobile devices worldwide surpassed the human population!  It is well worth a look.

commonsense

 

Our NSPCC Buddies

It was great to see our friends from the NSPCC in school again today; they came to deliver some very important messages about staying safe and knowing who to turn to if they are ever worried.

nspcc-004

All classes recieved age-appropriate presentations, this included an amazing animation for KS2!

There was clear themes that every child has the right to a happy childhood, and we discussed lots of trusted adults who are there to listen if they ever need an ear to share their worries.

The children interacted really well, and they had lots of great suggestions.

If you want to know more about any aspect of helping to keep children safe, visit the NSPCC website as they maintain very up-to-date information, including some great pages on e-safety.

Cybersafety: VPN?

VPN is an acronym that is being used more and more in conversations about technology.  Although commonly used to access work networks over the internet for years now, they are being used in many situations by younger people, and it could be worth a little read on what they are and how they are used.

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and they can be used to hide net traffic and what sites and services are accessed, even if parental controls have been put in place.

parent20info_vpn20article

There is only a very tiny chance that any primary-aged children are using such a service (mostly due to the cost and payment requirements – however, there are free ones out there), but I know that such things are discussed and used in teenage years by individuals, sometimes for reasons that are concerning.

The latest article from ParentInfo gives a very brief introduction to VPNs and worth a read to get up to date.

parent-info-banner

Fortnite Concerns

As part of our commitment to safeguarding children in all aspects of their life, we take a great interest in the potential dangers that technology can bring, and how it affects the development and well-being of young people.

Although rated at a 12 by PEGI, some younger children are playing the popular game Fortnite, and a report on the BBC today will be a valuable read for some parents:

Fortnite

It covers concerns raised by the NSPCC and includes some relevant advice:

The NSPCC said parents should:

  • let children know they could talk to them if upset or worried by anything they had seen online

  • familiarise themselves with what their children did online and understand why they liked particular apps or games

  • agree family rules on how to use apps, sites and games

  • use privacy settings and parental controls to keep children safe

For more information on PEGI ratings, take a look at our page on Online Gaming from our E-Safety section.

ParentInfo

I wanted to share a site that could be extremely useful for many – it’s ParentInfo, a collaboration of ParentZone and CEOP who are highly regarded and active in the area of Safeguarding children.

parent-info-banner

They regularly publish articles that help parents understand issues relevant to young people today, often with superb advice on how to approach them with your child.  There is a good section concerning technology that covers topics such as sexting, to social media use or protecting your child from harmful exposure to video game content when the games are clearly rated above their age; the site is added to regularly and well worth a browse and a bookmark.

There are so many challenges for young people as they grow up, and some are also new to us as parents: some of them just didn’t exist for us when we were younger or they concern things we were not used to discussing within a family.

Their latest posts include issues surrounding body image and discussing consent with teenagers.