One of the fastest growing areas of internet use today is social networking. There are over 3,000 social networking sites on the internet. This is changing the way that we communicate. On most of these sites, it is incredibly easy to communicate with our friends, in many cases, sharing lots of personal information and photographs.
These three common social network sites all have age limits:
- Facebook and Bebo set their age limit at 13.
- MySpace set their limit at 14.
Useful resources and links
Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. Since 2006, it aims to ensure that everyone has access to this practical information – children, young people, their parents and carers and the professionals who work with them.
Internet Matters https://www.internetmatters.org/advice/esafety-leaflets-resources/
A comprehensive web resource with a wide array of tips and advice on how to navigate the online world with your child. Some of their guidance we attach below but you can find even more by visiting the link.
National Online Safety https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/
National Online Safety’s mission is to make the internet a safer place for children. They aim to do this by equipping school staff, parents and children with the knowledge they need to understand online dangers and how best to react should an incident arise. The link above provides up to date information about a wide variety of social media apps and platforms your child might be using.
The NSPCC are the first to admit that the internet is amazing. Children can play, learn, create and connect – opening up a whole world of exciting possibilities. But with the digital world changing all the time, how can you make sure your child’s staying safe? That’s where the NSPCC come in. Whether you’re an online expert or you’re not sure where to start, their tools and advice will help you keep your child safe.
Childnet International is a registered UK charity that aims to make the internet a safe place for children and young people. Packed with resources it is a great resource for parents.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) is part of the National Crime Agency and their website can be used to report if you are worried about online abuse or the way someone is communicating online.
The BBC have a website and app called Own It. The website has a lot of content for children to help them navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most.
SafetoNet is technology that educates children “in-the-moment” as they use their device. It is a safeguarding assistant that helps them become responsible and safe digital citizens. Its power lies in a smart keyboard that detects risks in real-time. It steers children away from trouble by filtering harmful outgoing messages before they can be sent and any damage can be done.
A guide to Apps & Social Media
The number of apps and social media channels your child could be exposed to grow all the time, as does an app’s functionality. We recommend you visit Net Aware to read the latest and most current advice on over 70 apps to ensure you know what they do, how you can limit their features as well as recommended age restrictions.
The apps included are:
- Clash of Clans & Clash Royale
- And many, many more
- TikTokis a social media platform that lets you share and discover videos and privately message https://www.openvieweducation.co.uk/tiktok-parent-guide/
- Minecraft – is a game that lets you build, create and explore virtual worlds with building blocks. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/minecraft/
- Roblox– is an online game and app where you can create and share your own games and games that others have made. There is an option to chat to other players. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/roblox/
- Instagram– is a popular photo sharing site, it is possible to comment on other people’s photos. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/instagram/
- WhatsApp– is an instant messaging app which allows you to share photos, videos, text messages and make calls.
- Snapchat– The snapchat app lets you send videos, photos and messages to your friends which appear briefly and then disappear: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/snapchat/
- Check out this page for guides to many more games and apps: https://www.net-aware.org.uk/networks/
- Blue Whale– There is an online game called Blue Whale, which originated in Russia.
- It encourages self harm for 50 days then committing suicide on the last day.
- Young people carve a whale on their forearm. There has been increased suicides in Russia, linked to this game.
- In Hampshire there have been 2 completed suicides and 2 v.near misses.
- Yellow – Look out for ‘Yellow’a dating app for teenagers, Information on Yellow
- also look out for ‘Lovoo’and ‘Woozworld’.
- Lovoois an online dating, chatting and flirting app. You can search for people who are close to your current location and engage in private chats. The app is free but there is also a ‘VIP’ paid membership option. The VIP membership enables you to end a greater number of chat requests, have more matches and view other users profiles anonymously in ‘ghost mode’ so they don’t know you’ve seen their picture and details.
- Woozworldis a virtual gaming app which allows the user to create their own fashion themes avatar and do quests. It has chat facilities and the app has been described as being designed for the ‘tween’ market with the average age of users being between 8 and 14.
- Reporting Online Abuse:
- Other useful websites include:
- CSE Social Media Library
- lgfl.net(as well as templates, the UKCIS framework and PSHE guidance are here)