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staying safe online

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January 2024

February 2024

May 2024

Digital Well-being

We all need to be aware of how being online can affect us and look after our digital well-being.  Childnet have further information about what digital well-being is as well as how you can support your child’s digital well-being tailored to their age:

https://www.childnet.com/parents-and-carers/hot-topics/digital-wellbeing

Social Media Top Tips

Internet Matters have produced the following document which includes their top tips for parents in guiding your child to be safe whilst using social media.

https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/social-media-top-tips-cards/

TikTok

TikTok users can watch musical clips, record (up to) 60 second clips, edit them and add special effects.

Is your child old enough?

You must be over 13 years of age to use Tik Tok.

Why should I be concerned?

Some of the songs used in this app may contain explicit language and sexual imagery, which may not be suitable for your child to view.

If your child is using Tik Tok then we recommend setting the account as private.  Internet matters explains how to here:

https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/social-media/tiktok-privacy-and-safety-settings/

Did you know?

Even with a private account, your child’s profile information such as their photo and bio is still visible so ensure your child understands the importance of not adding personal information (e.g. address, age and phone numbers).

Talk to your child

Why does your child use it?  What do they like about it?  Do they know their followers?  What do they like watching on it?  Have they ever seen anything that has worried them?

Family safety mode

This new tool has just been launched by TikTok which when enabled gives you control over your child’s safety settings.  More information available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-51561050

Further information

Snapchat

Snapchat is a messaging app used to send photos, videos, text and drawings (called snaps) which disappear after they’ve been viewed. You should be 13+ to sign up.  If you choose to allow your child to have an account then you should be aware of the following:

Snap Map (sharing their location)

The Map lets users see where their friends are if a friend has chosen to share their location at any given time.  Location sharing with friends via the map is optional and is off by default (we recommend that this remains the default setting).

Snapchat streaks

Streaks count how many consecutive days two people have been sending Snaps to each other. A streak is shown by a little picture of a flame and a number (the number of days the streaks has gone on for) next to a contact’s name.  There can be pressure to respond on a daily basis to maintain their streaks and it can cause issues with people logging into other’s account to carry on streaks for friends.

Reporting

Ensure your child knows how to report any issues when using Snapchat.

Safety tips and resources

It’s really important to talk to your child regularly and make sure that they know that you’re always there to talk to if they have any concerns.

Netflix

Does your child watch Netflix? You can add a PIN to your account so a 4-digit PIN must be entered to either play any TV show or movie above a selected maturity level (on all profiles) or to play a specific TV series or movie (on all profiles).

Alternatively, you can create up to 5 personalised profiles in your Netflix account for each member of the household. You can then choose a maturity level for each profile to control the TV shows and movies they can view.

For younger children, you could create a child profile which only includes content appropriate for children.

Find out more here:
https://help.netflix.com/en/node/264

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch offers lots of fun and age appropriate games to play and by setting up appropriate controls, it can offer a safe and fun environment to play games.

What is Nintendo Switch Online?
This is a paid service that allows the user to play online by linking to other Switch consoles. Nintendo’s guidance states ‘this service should not be used by account users who are under 13 years old’. Due to its online nature, children could be playing games with people they don’t know which has risks such as being exposed to inappropriate language. If you do choose to purchase this service for your child then set up the appropriate controls detailed below.

Parental Controls App
There is a Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app available which is free to download to your phone (or other smart device) which you can then link to your child’s Nintendo Switch in order to monitor what they are playing. You can also set some restrictions on the Nintendo Switch. You can use the app to:
• see what video games your child has been playing
• how long your child has been playing for and set time limits
• set which games can be played based on their PEGI age rating
• turn off voice chat
• restrict spending in the Nintendo eShop

Further information
For further information and guidance, visit the following links:

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Nintendo-Switch/Nintendo-Switch-Parental-Controls/Nintendo-Switch-Parental-Controls-1183145.html
https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/parental-controls-nintendo-switch

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