10/11/21 Due to a number of recent reports and concerns around children being exposed to inappropriate material online on all sorts of different platforms including You Tube, Netflix, Roblox and Tik Tok we wanted to send share updates from the National Online Safety website with you.
National Online Safety offers free online safety guidance for parents on the latest apps, games, platforms and devices. It can be accessed on line at https://nationalonlinesafety.com and followed on Facebook and Instagram.
We would encourage parents to visit the site and use the guidance to understand what their children are accessing and to apply parental settings to all apps and games as well as regularly checking devices including images, installed apps and conversations.
Regards Miss Maddock
28/10/21 'Squid Game' (Netflix)
'Squid Game' is a new show on Netflix. There has been a lot of media reports about it recently due to its popularity and graphic depictions of violence which could be very harmful to children. It is currently the most watched show in 90 countries and nearly all episodes of the '15' rated show contain violent and gruesome scenes. Due to its unexpected popularity, other online platforms such as YouTube and social media have produced content based on the show's format.
Squid Game’s 15 rating has not prevented clips and images from the show being uploaded onto social media sites such as TikTok, with the #SquidGame hashtag being viewed more than 22.8 billion times. There have been reports of children who have accounts on these platforms inadvertently viewing gory, explicit scenes from the programme, and parents and carers should be mindful of the prevalence of these uploads.
The popularity of the programme has also led to online challenges based on various scenes, which see people taking part in seemingly innocent children’s games. On the show, however, characters are executed if they fail in the game – and videos of people pretending to kill each other after competing in Squid Game-style contests are going viral on social media, where they are easily accessible to children.
Parents – scare or prepare?
Scary stuff in the media often creates a sense of alarm which can become self-fulfilling. Although it seems counter-intuitive, it is usually best not to name the frightening content. For more information open the link below.
What parents need to know about
09/09/21 Something of an unexpected success after its 2015 debut, Rocket League settled into a steady if unspectacular groove of moderate audiences in the following years. Like many online video games, however, it enjoyed a significant spike in popularity over recent months as children and 09/09/young people sought entertainment during lockdown.
Over-consumption, in fact, is one of the main issues with the game – which relies on frequent (and occasionally long) sessions of play if users want to progress up the rankings. The guide (see downloads) to the game also pinpoints potential risks including in-game purchases and the possibility of scams which target naïve younger players.
Mrs Brown recently held e-safety sessions online via Teams for Parents and Carers to discuss the issues that often arise when children go online, and strategies to support.
The discussions mainly came from a powerpoint from the ThinkUKnow website. This can be found below along with notes from the presentation.
The main points we covered were:
Children only really do 4 things online - view, chat, share and friend. These can be done through games, apps, social media, video platforms etc.
Filters and privacy settings are usually available and should be used. However, things can slip through the net.
The majority of the issues we see in school are around messaging and chat - Mainly Whatsapp (despite being for 16+ in the UK).
The main point made was to have open and honest discussions with children about their online life from a very young age - what are you watching? Do you like it? What would you do if you saw something you didn't like?
When more tricky conversations arise later in childhood (around chat, social media or sharing content for example) this will be a continuation of conversations that have taken place for years, rather than seen as an invasion of privacy.
Being a model online for your children - not sharing their pictures online without discussion or them giving permission, for example.
Please contact Mrs Brown if you have any other questions.
07/01/2021 Appropriate Internet use
We have been made aware by some parents of Year 5 and Year 6 children, that there has been some sharing of inappropriate videos and some inappropriate messaging between some of the children. We understand that at this time children are eager to keep in touch with each other, but we would urge you to be aware about what your child is seeing and/or sending and to ensure that your child is staying safe online and following guidelines. We would appreciate it if you could be extra vigilant as most children are going to be increasing the time they are online at the moment.
A great way to start positive family conversations around safe and responsible internet use, and to agree clear expectations and boundaries is to set up a family agreement. We have attached an example as a suggestion.
We often talk to the children in school about using technology, and we are sure that you reinforce this at home. There are a number of useful websites to support this – please see the links below. Please note that this is a repeat of the information sent out during the autumn term.
Family agreement - A great way to start positive family conversations around safe and responsible internet use, and to agree clear expectations and boundaries.
• What do we enjoy doing online?
• What apps, games and websites do we use the most?
• What devices, tech, toys or games do we have with internet access?
• Do we already have any rules about use of tech we want to include in our family agreement?
Managing time online
• How long do we spend on our devices?
• How does it feel when we use tech for too long?
• How do know when our screen use is interfering with family life?
• What can we do to help avoid overusing tech?
• What is or isn’t okay to share online?
• What should we check before posting images and videos online?
• How do we keep personal information belonging to ourselves and others safe?
• Do we need a family email address to use when signing up to new accounts?
• Do we know how to use privacy settings and strong passwords, and why these are important?
• How can we use features like livestreaming and disappearing content safely?
• What can we do if we see something online which seems unreliable or untrustworthy?
• When is it okay to download files, games or apps, or click on a link?
• Do we know what the age requirements, or ratings, on the games and apps we use mean?
• Do we need any restrictions on making in-game or in-app purchases?
• Which websites are okay for us to use?
• Who can we talk/chat/play games with online? Do we only know them online, or offline too?
• How can we keep ourselves safe when communicating with people who we only know online?
• How can we be a good friend when we are online?
If things go wrong
• What can we do if we feel uncomfortable or upset by anything we see or hear online?
• What should we do if someone we only know online asks us for photos, to meet up, or to share personal information?
• Do we know here the report and block buttons are online?
• How could parental controls help our family?
• What will happen if one of us breaks the family agreement?
• When should we review our family agreement?
Once you’ve talked about your family’s use of technology and the internet, think about what simple steps you can take going forward.
Lastest Government Support
Whilst there are huge benefits to being online in order to stay connected to family and friends during this period, the government recognises many parents may feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. This guidance outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to receive support and advice.
New - #OnlineSafetyAtHome activity packs!
To help parents and carers during COVID-19, we're releasing activity packs with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety at home.
We also encourage parents and carers to read this guide which includes tips to better monitor online activity and have meaningful conversations with their children about online safety.
Link to Website: https://nationalonlinesafety.com/
We have had several children mentioning the Tik Tok App that they are accessing on mobile devices. This has raised a few concerns about online safety and privacy.
Below is some information about Tik Tok from the Common Sense Media website, which can be accessed using this link:- https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parents-ultimate-guide-to-tiktok
What is TikTok? - TikTok is a social network for sharing user-generated videos, mostly of people lip-synching to popular songs. It was originally called musical.ly (pronounced MU-zik-lee). Users can create and upload their own videos where they lip-synch, sing, dance, or just talk. You can also browse and interact with other users' content, which covers a wide range of topics, songs, and styles. These videos can be grouped by hashtags, which often correspond to challenges or memes.
How safe is TikTok? - Using any social network can be risky, but it's possible for kids to safely use the app with adult supervision (and a private account). When you sign up for TikTok, your account is public by default, meaning anyone can see your videos, send you direct messages, and use your location information. Parents should make sure to turn on all privacy settings for accounts kids are using, so only people you know can interact with your videos or message you on the app. That means either opting for a private account or changing the settings for comments, duets, reactions, and messages to "Friends" instead of "Everyone." You can also turn those features off completely.
Is TikTok appropriate for kids? - Because of TikTok's emphasis on popular music, many videos include swearing and sexual lyrics, so it may not be age-appropriate for kids to use on their own.
What age is TikTok recommended for? - Common Sense recommends the app for age 15+ mainly due to the privacy issues and mature content.
Further information can be found on these websites.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
What to do if you are being Cyberbullied?
- Tell an adult, parents, carer or guardian
- Speak to your class eSafety Officers (Years 3-6) - to be recruited
- Speak to your teacher
- Keep message you have been sent as this will provide proof(evidence) should the issue need to be raised further.
Get Safe On Line
Some great advice from https://www.getsafeonline.org/safeguarding-children/ – have a look at their site as they have some fantastic tips, videos , links for all to use
Get Safe Top 10
- Make sure your computer has up-to-date internet security software, switched on.
- Don’t reveal personal information on social networking sites.
- Regularly backup the data on your computer and smartphone/tablet.
- Never reveal your password or PIN when asked to do so by email or on the phone.
- Make sure your wireless network is secure at all times.
- Be careful who you are selling to and buying from on auction sites.
- Choose strong passwords, change them regularly and don’t tell anybody what they are.
- When shopping, paying or banking online, always make sure the website is secure.
- Always download the latest software and operating system updates when prompted.
- Remember your smartphone is also a target for viruses and spyware.
ONLINE GAMES AND ADVICE FOR CHILDREN
- Newsround: Advice and tips for staying safe online Newsround Internet Safety: Caught in the Web
- Childnet- Top Tips for Safe Internet Use
- Kidsmart – Online Safety Information
- NetSmartzKids- Fun videos with important messages
- CBBC Stay Safe- clips with great advice
- Thinkuknow- Information for young and old
ESAFETY TIPS FOR PARENTS
Technology is evolving at an alarming rate and it is important to keep up to date with how we can enhance the safety of children’s online safety.
Here are some useful links to support Esafety at home:
- ESafety Advice for Parents and Pupils
- How to setup Parental Controls?
- Our Pact – Parental Control App – This app that enables parents to take control of the amount of time their child uses an android or ios device. OurPact is a breakthrough parental control app that harnesses the power of Internet and Application blocking in order to teach children proper device use and responsibility. Our parental control solution gives parents the ability to manage their child’s screen time throughout the day. Parents can enforce bedtime, set dinnertime, manage study time and schedule family time throughout the day.
PARENTAL LINKS AND ADVICE
Information on Internet Safety – shared by Jane Commins, Youth Engagement Officer at Cheshire Constabulary Safer Schools and Young Persons Partnership
- It is important to educate children about being safe on-line and about making a positive contribution – both parents and school should be responsible for this
- Parents should not tell their child they don’t know anything about technology – don’t say ‘Don’t ask me, I don’t know how it works!’, do say ‘We could find out about it together to decide whether it’s safe or how we can make it safe’
- Parents need to encourage their child to be open about what they are doing so that they feel able to talk when there is a problem
- Find out about apps a child is using – good websites for this are www.internetmatters.org which gives advice on how appropriate apps are for each age group and www.commonsensemedia.org which reviews apps.
Jane recommended the following websites for further information: -
Other pages that you could look help to support your child.
- NSPCC Help Pages Advice for parents to keep children safe online
- O2 have teamed up with the NSPCC- Free, phone help using parental settings on all devices
- BBC Advice for Online Safety
- Thinkuknow – Parents
- Safer Internet Young People- Games and Advice ages 3-11 Years
- Net-aware: Parents review kids’ social networks, apps & games
- Thinkuknow - Gaming advice for parents
PREVENT Should I be worried?
Incidents of extremism and radicalisation are rare and as such when they do occur, make the news. As with all safeguarding issues, it is important to be vigilant, and not complacent, but also not to panic. We have attached a guide in the files section which will give you the information to make informed decisions and help safeguard your child.
In the files section, you will also find a copy of our Safeguarding policy which also provides guidance (page 32 onwards).