Online safety

Below are several imporatant messages and links for online safety messages.

 

TikTok

A few days ago I spent a rather disturbing half-an-hour on TikTok. I had heard of professionals using TikTok to help raise awareness of various topics, like psychologist Dr Julie Smith who quickly became a TikTok star posting her mental health tips.

I wondered whether they would be any value in using the platform to help schools share safeguarding tips for parents. This found me exploring my new TikTok account at 08.30am.

Wow! Clicking in to TikTok Live was worse than I had thought it would be. Some videos showed the windscreen view of traffic whilst drivers livestreamed their commute. Loads of videos showed women and girls putting on their make up. So far, so boring (at least to me).

Then there were a number of video streams that I think should concern us from a safeguarding perspective. Livestreams from the school bus, school playgrounds and even from tutor time in classrooms. There was even a group of primary aged boys trying to out swear each other while they waited for the bell. Although some of our online harm messages had got through to the youngsters, as their phone pointed downwards, to show four pairs of shoes.

Needless to say, it won't be a platform I'll be using any time soon.

Parents' Ultimate Guide to TikTok (Commonsense Media)https://www.commonsensemedia.org/articles/parents-ultimate-guide-to-tiktok

TikTok app safety – What parents need to know (Internet Matters)https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/esafety-news/tik-tok-app-safety-what-parents-need-to-know/

 

 

 

Important WhatsApp information for parents and teachers

In its latest updates WhatsApp - the popular Facebook-owned chat application has stopped asking for any age verification for new users - meaning any child in charge of a smartphone can easily use the application to share photographs and videos without their parents' ( or teacher's ! ) knowledge.

What is the minimum age to legally use WhatsApp in the UK?

 

In the UK you need to be 16 to legally use WhatsApp.

How can parents monitor their child's WhatsApp?

 

WhatsApp is secure and encrypted so it cannot be intercepted. You can, however, set up a second device allowing you to participate in their chats and conversations. You can access the information and guide on the parentshield.co.uk website here

What precautions can Parents take?

 

* Use a child-safe mobile network* Check a child's phone regularly to see what Apps are installed

* Use Parental Controls to restrict app installation to chosen apps

* Set privacy settings on any chat aplications to restrict sharing with known contacts only

 

Why is WhatsApp dangerous?

By default WhatsApp allows unrestricted sharing of voice, text images and videos with any other user anywhere in the world. Personal information, profile picture, and even location can easily be shared with hundreds of strangers. 

 

Why ParentShield different?

ParentShield intercepts and BLOCKS any WhatsApp ( And Snapchat, and Signal, and Telegram!) setup verification SMS mesages and informs parents instantly. 

 

https://parentshield.co.uk

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