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E Safety tip of the month – May 2017
We have been made aware of some incidents involving an online game called Blue Whale and several other apps, including Yellow, Lovoo and Woozworld, which encourage children to join in with online dating, chatting and flirting.
The risks with these apps include: children being able to chat privately to strangers as well as allowing other users to view pictures and details without the children being aware. They may also encourage children to self harm.
We would advise all parents to: talk to your child about what apps and games they are using; to make sure that your child is only using age appropriate apps and games online; and to make sure that your child knows what to do if they see anything that makes them uncomfortable.
The UK Safer Internet Centre has some conversation starters that can help you to start a discussion with your child about their time online – goo.gl/ESUT7x
E Safety incident in Leeds, Jan 2017
You may have seen the reports in the media last week about an e-safety incident involving primary age children from Leeds. The incident did not take place in school or through an ‘app’ approved by a school. The incident is now being investigated by West Yorkshire Police.
This incident has highlighted a number of safeguarding issues about smartphone ‘apps’ including live.ly and music.ly. These apps are supposed to only be able to access contacts on the user’s phone, but it appears that unknown individuals are able to join group chats. Therefore, these apps are not safe for children to use as there is a significant risk of inappropriate contact by unknown individuals.
We would ask all parents to make sure that your child does not have access to such apps on their phone and to check that all privacy settings are switched on to make sure that children are protected when using any internet site.
If a child experiences or expresses concerns about online activity, it must be reported to the police using 101 and https://ceop.police.uk/ceop-reporting/.