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Staying Safe Online

Children and young people are likely to be as good as, if not better than, their parents at using the Internet. However, being good at using technology does not mean they have the life-experience and wisdom to handle all of the situations they can come across.

Children and young people are prone to the same kinds of risks (including spam and scam emails, fraud and identity theft) as everybody else. However, there are also other, more sinister threats that may result from going online, such as inappropriate contact from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them, and exposure to inappropriate material.

A recent survey tracking children's media behaviour in the UK identified young people are spending more time playing and socialising online than watching television programmes. Find out more here

2014 saw the launch of Internet Matters, a world-leading child internet safety organisation founded by the UK’s four major broadband providers; BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin. The not-for-profit organisation sees the ‘big four’ put aside competition and join forces for the first time, to help parents safely navigate the internet with their children. The move will cement the UK’s position as a world-leader on child internet safety, advising parents to ‘learn about it, talk about it, deal with it’.

Research conducted by Internet Matters revealed that 74% of parents want more information and advice about online safety, with their preference for this information being made available to them online. To meet this demand, Internetmatters.org has been created as a one-stop hub, directing parents to valuable help and advice from the leading experts at organisations and charities in the child internet safety field. It will act as a single authoritative resource on child online safety. The initiative will encourage the wider technology industry, experts, policy makers and parents to work together to establish world-leading resources for parents which are effectively sign-posted. The idea is not to scare monger but to equip parents with the information they need to make informed decisions.

The site can be found at http://www.internetmatters.org/

In addition to this if you have specific concerns then you can discuss these with a member of the school safeguarding team, or alternatively, the Leeds Local Safeguarding Childrens Board (LSCB). Details of which can be found here

Online Safety Update 27/04/17

We have been informed by the Leeds Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) that there are some real concerns about specific 'Dating Apps'. These are aimed at under 18's and therefore there is a real risk of sexual predators being able to target children. One of the most concerning is called 'Yellow'. Others that have also been recently identified are ‘Lovoo’ and ‘Woozworld’. 

There has also been a separate alert about 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 have been increased suicides in Russia, linked to this game and there have been two suicides in this country.

Please be aware of any signs that your child is self harming and do not hesitate to contact school if you have any concerns that you wish to discuss with us.

Guidance from the Leeds Safeguarding Children’s Board is for schools to advise parents and carers to ensure that their children do not have access to such apps on their phone and to check that all appropriate privacy settings are switched on. This is 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/.  Wherever possible, a screen shot or a mobile phone picture of the concern should be taken for reporting purposes.

This information has been shared with staff at all our North West SILC sites and where appropriate, staff will be reminding children about staying safe online.

We wanted to share this information with all our parents and carers as this may also affect siblings or other family members.

There is some more useful information on the LSCB website about online safety. Please use the following link to access this information: http://www.leedslscb.org.uk/Parents-Carers-Wider-Family/Keeping-children-safe-online

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