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Snapchat

Snapchat has developed a new feature called Snapmaps which allows users to see the location of other users of snapchat. There are three possible settings, sharing with no-one (Ghost Mode), sharing with select friends (choose which friends you share your location with) and my friends (share your location with all your friends). Many children have a large number of “friends” on their accounts who they probably do not know well, and could be accidentally sharing their location.

 

Schools will want to encourage parents to check their child’s privacy settings if they allow their child to use Snapchat.

Full details are provide in the UK Safer Internet centre blog at https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/blog/introducing-%E2%80%98snap-maps%E2%80%99-new-location-sharing-feature-snapchat

We have become aware of a significant number of issues with children sharing content using the app musical.ly. 

Full Details are here https://www.internetmatters.org/hub/expert-opinion/musical-ly-app-parents-need-know/

A summary of the risks posed is shown below:-

Dangers for kids:

 

  • ​18+ content in the song lyrics. Swearing and adult concepts in the provided music.
  • Pornography, graphic content, suicide notes.
  • Musical.ly users can search for other users to view or follow near their own location/city.
  • User generated videos can be viewed and shared onto other social media and messaging apps increasing exposure.
  • Bullying in comments.
  • Users can publicise their messenger usernames or social media profiles on their Musical.ly profile.
  • Live.ly live streaming is not private even if you have the privacy settings set up.
  • Using live streaming Musical.ly app Live.ly may mean larger exposure with mean comments, interacting in real time with viewers.
  • Many fake user accounts, used to hijack views or set up to bully.
  • Hacking of accounts by promotional accounts (Free Musical.ly Crowns) within the apps.
  • Not easy to report accounts for being fakes or underage inside the app.
  • Many underage accounts with large amounts of followers.
  • Easy for users to create multiple accounts and hide them from their parents.
  • Fake Musical.ly apps on the app store that charge for download or offer followers.

Safer Internet Day took place on Tuesday 7th February 2017 and the theme was "Be the change: unite for a better internet."

 

 

Parental Controls

Video Games – advice for parents

Children love to play video games, but there are some risks involved.  The two main areas of concern are

  • Children experiencing violent or sexual content beyond their age.
  • Children playing online with strangers and either experiencing inappropriate language, or being groomed.

The PEGI ratings should help you decide what is appropriate for your child

PEGI 18
The adult classification is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes a depiction of gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. Gross violence is the most difficult to define since it can be very subjective in many cases, but in general terms it can be classed as the depictions of violence that would make the viewer feel a sense of revulsion

PEGI 16
This rating is applied once the depiction of violence (or sexual activity) reaches a stage that looks the same as would be expected in real life. More extreme bad language, the concept of the use of tobacco and drugs and the depiction of criminal activities can be content of games that are rated 16.

PEGI 12
Videogames that show violence of a slightly more graphic nature towards fantasy character and/or non graphic violence towards human-looking characters or recognisable animals, as well as videogames that show nudity of a slightly more graphic nature would fall in this age category. Any bad language in this category must be mild and fall short of sexual expletives.

Further advice is available from www.askaboutgames.com which will also provide advice on setting parental controls on games consoles to help ensure that play is safe for children.

It is also important to ask your children who they are playing with.  One recent, extreme example was of a 19 year old grooming a 14 year old boy, Breck Bednar before murdering him.  Most parents would want to know who their children are playing with in the real world, the same should also apply to the virtual world..

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