Being safe on the internet
Keeping children and young people safe online is a huge challenge and there are constantly new online developments that bring new risks. Please see a summary of recent updates below.
1. Blaze and the Monster Machines App
This Free App is a game that 'phones' children once they reach a certain level. The phone call they receive is automated but extremely disturbing and could be very distressing to children and young people. See news article here - it contains a recording that a parent has made of the phone call her daughter receives and highlights how disturbing this is.
This App was formerly called 'Yellow', so parents and schools may not realise that it has changed. It has a live streaming feature, which poses a significant risk to young people as they can live stream to strangers and can watch live streams from strangers. Increasing numbers of sex offenders are using live streaming as a way of abusing young people.
3. Live-streaming apps
See BBC article here, in which an adult woman poses as a 14 year old to investigate the dangers of live streaming apps. Various apps are mentioned in the article to be aware of.
Schools should help parents or carers learn about online safety as part of the whole school approach. We know from our research with parents that they want to learn more about online safety and would welcome information from their child’s school.
There are many ways to involve parents or carers. You could:
• organise sessions where pupils teach parents or carers
• share resources with parents through newsletters or handouts
• show parents the learning resources you use in the classroom
• circulate your e-safety policies.
Parent workshops with O2
We deliver online safety parent workshops, in partnership with O2, to primary schools across the UK.
If your primary school is part of the Speak out Stay safe programme you can book a session for us to come to your school and deliver an hour-long session to help parents and carers keep their family safe online.
You just need to provide a room and ensure 20 parents attend the session.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We also have a series of online safety briefings for parents which you can print off and hand out or download and send via email:
• Sexting (PDF) summarises the key information from our sexting webpage on what sexting is, what the risks are and what parents can do to protect their children.
• How to keep your child safe online (PDF) sets out 4 TEAM steps parents can take to keep their children safe online: Talk, Explore, Agree, Manage.
Net Aware - a guide to social networks
Net Aware reviews around 40 of the most popular social networking sites, apps and games used by children and young people. It also gives the views of parents and children.
Net Aware is a great resource to share with parents and carers who want to know about:
• Suitable ages
• Privacy settings
• Appropriate content
• Safety and support settings
• And keep-up-to-date through our newsletter.
There is a great new online safety tool designed for parents launched by the Department for Education called Parent Info. It's has advice on everything from keeping children safe from online trolls to WhatsApp - a guide for parents.
Childnet is a great website resource for parents and children on online safety.
Think U Know has a great section for parents and covers topics such as gaming and talking to strangers. You can also search by topic or age range to find information that is relevant for your family.
Internet Matters is another great site to use - it has advice on cyberbullying, how to talk to your children about internet safety and quick guides to different types of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat. You can visit their pages here Internet Matters.