Author: Kat Chandler

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about Social Media & Mental Health

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about Social Media & Mental Health

Using social media has plenty of potential benefits for young people: it helps them stay connected to their friends, hear contrasting views on the world, find reassurance or support, and ease social anxiety. It also brings, however, a corresponding number of negative possibilities – including compulsive use, unhealthy comparisons with others online and exposure to harmful content.

Ironically – for a medium designed to enable engagement with other people – social platforms can actually lead to children feeling increasingly isolated and lonely, taking an obvious toll on their mental wellbeing. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide has our top tips on how trusted adults can support healthier social media habits in young people.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety.

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about TikTok

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about TikTok

Around an eighth of the world’s population use TikTok. Consider the scale of that reach, and that the app’s demographic is heavily skewed towards younger people – with almost half (41%) of those users aged 16–24. TikTok itself advises a minimum age of 13 to access the platform (with certain features for over-18s only), but reports suggest that some children as young as 10 use it.

Given the youthfulness of its user-base, TikTok has faced numerous age-related challenges such as inappropriate content in videos, in-app purchasing and children being contacted by strangers on the platform. Updated for 2022, this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide tells trusted adults everything they need to know to help young people stay safe on TikTok.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

 

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This guide is from National Online Safety

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Although the game being discussed in the information below is rated as 18+ and is designed for adult users, not children, we felt it was worth sharing with families so that they are aware of reasons for this, and the risks it may pose.

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II

Modern Warfare II is the 19th instalment in the relentless Call of Duty series, which shows no sign of shedding popularity. In fact, this latest release has reportedly broken lucrative new ground for the franchise – almost unbelievably garnering $1 billion in sales in its first ten days of availability (according to the publishers, Activision), making it the fastest-selling Call of Duty title yet.

It seems young gamers can’t get enough of the high-octane gunplay that CoD offers. Their eager engagement with the game, however, can lead to hours of compulsive playing; hostile audio chat exchanges with other gamers; and a willingness to make in-game purchases to level up their character. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide has all the intel on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about How to Combat Online Bullying

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about How to Combat Online Bullying

According to Ofcom’s 2022 Media Use and Attitudes report, children are now more likely to be bullied via technology than they are to experience it in person. An alarming 84% of 8 to 17-year-olds who reported being targeted said it had taken place via messaging, social media, online gaming and so on, as opposed to 61% who had been intimidated face-to-face.

Just like its offline counterpart, cyber-bullying creates feelings of isolation and anxiety in its victims, along with a loss of self-esteem and potentially thoughts of self-harm or suicide. In support of Anti-Bullying Week, today’s #WakeUpWednesday guide has expert tips on how trusted adults can help to prevent online bullying or reduce its damaging effects

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety

10 Ways You Can Share Kindness Online

Dear parents and Carers,

I think this week’s guide is apt for the times we live in but would also be good to share with your children. There are major events going on at the moment and the temptation for adults and children alike is to post things online that might not be very kind. Hopefully this guide will help us all be more positive in the way we post and share comments online.

Best wishes,Mark Richards, Lord Deramore's Primary School

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This guide is from National Online Safety

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about Amigo

Although the platform being discussed in the information below is designed for adult users, and not children, we felt it was worth sharing with families so that they are aware of Amigo and the risks it may pose.

What Parents Need to Know about Amigo

Amigo is a communication platform with (according to its marketing blurb) “the most intelligent algorithm”: capable of matching users with potential chat partners who could live anywhere from the other side of the world to within the same postcode. Once paired, users are rewarded for interacting with each other frequently by additional features being made available to them.

These unlockable extras include private video calling. This is an app for mature audiences. There is the flimsiest of barriers to children using it. If (as we imagine) the potential correlation between these three facts has set alarm bells ringing for you … we’d like to direct you towards this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide for the whole enchilada about Amigo.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

 

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This guide is from National Online Safety

What Parents & Carers Need to Know about SENDIT

What Parents Need to Know about Sendit

On general principle, any app which allows children to communicate with others anonymously online should be treated with a substantial measure of caution – and Sendit is no exception. For some individuals, the extra layer of security that anonymity provides is an open invitation to post negative and hurtful comments without fear of the consequences.

Indeed, some Scandinavian schools have already gone as far as warning parents about the dangers of children downloading and using Sendit, following a spate of bullying and harassment incidents. As this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide highlights, the cost of subscriptions and the tendency for young people to be drawn into using the app habitually are among Sendit’s other potential risks.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

This guide is from National Online Safety

FIFA 23 – What Parents & Carers Need To Know

What Parents Need to Know about FIFA 23

You don’t have to be football crazy or an avid gamer to have heard of the all-conquering FIFA franchise. What you might not know is that this latest edition will be the last release to bear that name, thanks to a parting of the ways between football’s governing body FIFA (that’s Federation Internationale de Football Association, acronym fans) and developers EA Sports.

There’s no disputing that the game’s been an immense success – but what’s less impressive is its tendency to look defensively shaky against some online threats. Young players aiming to recreate their football heroes’ exploits can be at risk from abusive opponents, expensive in-game purchases and the “just one more game” mentality. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide tackles FIFA 23.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

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This guide is from National Online Safety

10 Tips for Parents and Carers: How to be Green with your Tech

10 Tips for Parents and Carers: How to be Green with your Tech

Remember the heatwave back in July? Temperatures topping 40° in the UK, wildfires in mainland Europe and severe droughts across the continent. It’s clear evidence of how much global warming has started influencing the weather in this part of the world. Climate change has been described as “the fight of our lifetime”, and it’s a battle we have to win.

The Great Big Green Week is an event designed to inspire people to stand up for nature and tackle climate change together. In support, our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week is all about how we can each do our bit to help the planet by re-using or recycling unwanted digital devices such as old smartphones, computers and tablets.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

This guide is from National Online Safety

Reddit – What Parents & Carers Need To Know

With a lot of age-inappropriate content and very minimal moderation, Reddit is not appropriate for primary children. However, it is often a good idea to inform yourself about these things BEFORE your child does! Families may well also have older teens who do use Reddit, and may not be aware of the risks.

What’s more, because the site is hugely popular all over the world, links to Reddit frequently turn up among search engine results if young people are using the internet without appropriate safety filters (like the ones we have in school!) in place – so young people may be exposed to the site’s content even without purposely looking for it. Remember, children’s internet access should always be supervised.

What parents need to know about Reddit

Over the last ten years, Reddit’s monthly user count has grown from 70 million to an estimated 430 million. Around two-thirds of that total are in the 18–29 age bracket, which adds up to a lot of fairly young people discussing … well, pretty much whatever they want. It’s easy to see how that environment might not be suitable for younger users!

Unsurprisingly, age-inappropriate content is therefore a common risk on Reddit, and – as this week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide explains – it’s not in isolation. Constant distracting notifications, online harassment and uninvited contact from strangers are also among the threats that young people might encounter through using Reddit.

Read on to access your free guide and catch up on the latest online safety news…National Online Safety

Click for a larger .pdf version

This guide is from National Online Safety