LATEST NEWS AND INFORMATION - Summer 2023
XBox Gaming Safety Toolkit
Many children and young people will be using Xbox gaming stations at home and as such Microsoft have put together a comprehensive toolkit (a PDF document) for parents, children and young people that goes into quite a lot of depth, including parental controls, guidance for all ages, common safety risks, bullying, unwanted contact and more. There is also age-specific guidance (from 5 years upwards) and case studies.
The toolkit has been produced for gamers in Australia and New Zealand, but having read through we can see no reason at all why this can’t be used by any person in any country — the information is all the same regardless.
RECENT NEWS AND INFORMATION - Spring 2023
New Resource – 5 to 8 Year Olds – Jack Changes the Game
CEOP have released a new learning activity and picture book (PDF) for 5 to 8 year olds which can be used in the classroom or be used by parent/carers at home. The book is all about online friends and how online friends are not always as they seem. You can see all the resources for free, download HERE.
Find the Fake
Internet Matters have a great little quiz for parents and their children to test their knowledge around areas such as fake news, disinformation, misinformation, and how to stop it from spreading. You can find the quiz HERE.
Epic Games Store Parental Controls
Epic is a games store and also games-playing platform where children can play games such as Fortnite, Fall Guys and Rocket League. There are a number of good parental features available for under 13’s which some parents may not know about including: chatting, in-app purchasing, inappropriate content and more. It might be worth sending THIS guide out to your parents.
RECENT NEWS AND INFORMATION - Autumn 2022
Advice by age:
Younger children need different advice and guidance than older children. Older children need different advice and guidance than teens. It can be really difficult keeping up with everything that is online and what risks and issues may affect children of different ages, so on these pages there is some age-related advice and guidance for parents and carers:
Pre-school – https://www.internetmatters.
6 – 10 year olds – https://www.internetmatters.
11 – 13 year olds – https://www.internetmatters.
14 plus – https://www.internetmatters.
Setting up devices:
It can be difficult knowing all the different settings that are available on different devices to help protect children, this includes allowing or disallowing chat, friends, spending money, content filters and much more. On these pages you will find the details, as well as non-technical instructions, which will help you understand what is available to you and how to set up your child’s devices.
Gaming consoles and devices – https://www.internetmatters.
Smartphones – https://www.internetmatters.
Broadband and mobile networks – https://www.internetmatters.
Entertainment and search engines – https://www.internetmatters.
Safety/privacy settings on social media:
With many children and young people using social media it is important to understand what features are available to you to help protect your children. This is also important because for the most part, all privacy settings are default off when a new account is created, but also because some social media providers change their features quite frequently, e.g. TikTok.
Take a look at this link to see what is available to you and how to set up your child’s social media. We would also advise doing this with your child so that you can discuss the features together.
Useful new features on YouTube and YouTube Kids
YouTube is hugely popular with all age groups but historically parents haven’t had a lot of control over what their children can/cannot watch. But things have changed and YouTube now gives parents a greater degree of control. It isn’t perfect but it is a step in the right direction. Take a look at the page below where you will see a few short videos of newer features that can help you on YouTube and YouTube Kids.
Finding good games, as well as knowing what is appropriate for the age of the child isn’t easy, particularly when there can be lots of peer pressure to play the more popular games which are not always appropriate. Taming Gaming is a great resource for parents to find new games for children as well as lots of advice about content, suitability etc.
Snapchat Family Centre
Snapchat remains one of the most popular apps used by children and young people. TikTok is the most popular, followed by Snapchat, it is then different depending on age group.
Snapchat has a Family Centre feature and the company has been adding a couple of updates recently which parents may find useful – this includes seeing what friends their children have been sending messages to and a complete list of their child’s existing friends.
There is a full breakdown of the Snapchat safety features HERE.
Jesse and Friends
CEOP have released their brand new website, Jessie and Friends, for children aged 4-7, their parents and carers, which aims to equip them with the knowledge, skills and confidence they need to stay safer online. The website is interactive and helps children recognise worrying, upsetting or scary situations to reinforce the message to ‘tell a grown up’.
Click the icon below to go the to the Jesse and Friends website
Click the icon below to read the parents’ guide.
The primary concern that comes from parents is in relation to content and the inability to have much control over what their children see. YouTube (Google) have been updating some of their features over the last year and these changes are very positive. To help parents understand more about these features and how to use them they have compiled five short videos (from YouTube) onto one page covering:
- Parent Allowlisting (this is a fantastic new feature).
- Selecting content based on the age of the child.
- How to approve what your children can watch.
- Limiting screen time.
- Supervised experience (the ability to set a filtering level based on the age of the child).
Agreeing rules and boundaries
Setting up devices for children
Many of the parents/carers whose child has been involved in a serious child protection issue are not aware of the features that are available on devices, broadband etc. which can be used to help protect their children. Internet Matters have a huge range of advice and guidance, which includes simple guides to set up devices including tablets, phones, gaming devices and much more.
You can find out more here.
YouTube - Parent AllowListing
The YouTube Kids app was introduced in the UK in January 2016 and was designed to allow younger children to use YouTube in a more managed (moderated) way whilst giving parents extra controls.
Whilst it is a great app, my visits around primary schools over the years suggests that very few younger children use the YouTube Kids service. In conversation with the children and their parents, the biggest reason is usually because the channels/videos that the children want to watch are not available on the YouTube Kids app.
This has now changed. YouTube have introduced a new service called Parent Allowlisting which can be used on mobile devices where a parent can approve a video/channel from the main YouTube app into their child’s YouTube Kids account.
Child Sexual Exploitation - a guide for parents and carers
With the scale of online grooming getting worse every year it is important that parents are empowered with good information. The Internet Watch Foundation have put together a brilliant guide which is split into three sections. The first describes what online CSE is, the second answers questions and gives practical advice, and the third informs parents what to do if they are suspicious.
We hope you find this information useful. If any parents have any concerns, you can talk to our safeguarding officer, Miss Gonsalves, or our family worker, Mrs Hanif.
My Family's Digital Toolkit
How to Protect Children from Online Harm
The Marie Collins Foundation and The NWG Network have put together a short article which we’re sure many parents will find useful. Covered within the article are:
- What is online harm?
- How is it different from exploitation offline?
- How do offenders target young people online?
- What can I do
- and more.
You can find it HERE.
Parent and carer toolkit
The Parent and Carer Toolkit can be found here:
COUNTY LINES is a phrase that is cropping up more and more on our TV news programmes. You might know a little about it – maybe you are aware that it is linked to drug dealing and crime. If you click on the red tile on the left, you will be taken to the London Grid for Learning where you can view a collection of short but helpful videos from Peter Wilson, who has recently retired from the Metropolitan Police and is one of the leading experts in this field.
Jessie & Friends:online safety education for 4-7s
Children are accessing technology and the internet at a younger age than ever before. It’s never too early to talk to your child about what they do online and who to tell if they come across anything online that makes them feel worried, scared or sad.
Jessie & Friends is a series of three animations that follow the adventures of Jessie, Tia and Mo as they begin to navigate the online world, watching videos, sharing pictures and playing games. There’s also a storybook for each episode, to help you and your child keep the conversation going.