Online Safety Parent Advice Guides for Apps, Devices and Online Safety Topics
10 Top Tips: Remote Education for Children
Remote education ensures continuous learning outside the classroom. For students, it’s the perfect way to ensure they still get the education they need, despite not being at school. However, it also requires a level of discipline and careful planning. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help pupils understand different aspects of remote education and to support them in ensuring their experience is as safe and secure as it can be.
10 Top Tips: Remote Education for Parents and Carers
Remote education ensures continuous learning outside the classroom. For parents and carers, remote education isn’t always straightforward and there can be a number of factors they need to consider, especially around ensuring their children feel comfortable and are familiar with the whole concept. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help parents and carers support their child in getting the most out of their remote education experience.
What Parents Need to Know About Cyberpunk 2077
Cyberpunk 2077 is a first-person action RPG (role-playing game) with multiple storylines. It’s set in a dystopian future where the line between humans and machines has blurred, with cybernetic implants commonplace. Eight years in the making by Polish developers CD Projekt RED, the game has already garnered quite a reputation – partly because of its adult themes and graphic content.
10 Top Tips for Safer Online Shopping
Internet shopping has become part of our everyday lives. Last year, an estimated 1.92 billion people made a purchase online: around a quarter of the world’s population. And e-commerce growth is accelerating each year. But as the number of people using the internet to shop increases, so does the number of scammers, hackers and fraudsters looking to dupe the unprepared online buyer.
What Parents Need to Know About Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (CoD) is an online first-person shooter. It’s available on PC, PlayStation and Xbox. CoD allows players to select from different game modes including campaign, multiplayers and ‘zombies’. Players can customise their character and weapons in the game.
What Parents Need to Know About PlayStation 5
The PlayStation 5 is the next-generation video game console for Sony. It offers improved graphics, sound and much quicker loading times. It also has a new controller with motion-and force-feedback features for a more immersive experience. Parents should note that there are two different versions available that support discs or digital downloads.
What Parents Need to Know About Xbox Series X|S
The Xbox Series X and Series S are the next-generation video game consoles from Microsoft. They offer improved graphics, sounds and much quicker loading times. Parents should note that the two versions available are quite different.
What Parents Need to Know About Among Us
Among Us is one of the most popular games of 2020. A space-themed ‘social deduction game’ where 4-10 players take on the guise of Crewmates, who must complete various tasks around their spaceship, while randomly selected Imposters must try their hardest to sabotage the others’ efforts. The Imposters have to remain undetected through rounds of voting to win. While Among Us is a largely safe game, it’s still prudent to be aware of any potential risks young ones might encounter when playing.
What Parents Need to Know About League of Legends
What Parents Need to Know About Amazon Alexa
Alexa is an artificial intelligence (AI) software assistant created by Amazon in 2014 through which smartphone, tablet and smart device users can issue voice commands and ask questions in a range of languages by issuing the ‘wake’ or activation word Alexa. It can be accessed in several ways and is integrated into a growing number of ‘smart’ products including speakers, phones and clocks. Once viewed as expensive gimmicks, Alexa is now one of the most used voice assistants in the world.
What Parents Need to Know About Overwatch
Overwatch is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter developed and published by Blizzard Entertainment, the same company behind the likes of World of Warcraft and StarCraft. The online-only game, which is available to play on the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC, sees players face off in six-versus-six matches that emphasize both teamwork and individual skill. Players have a wide choice of characteristics to play as, each of which comes under one of four main classes or roles – Offence, Defence, Tank and Support – which each class having its own unique strengths and weaknesses. In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Overwatch as PEGI 12, suitable for ages 12 and up, for non-realistic-looking violence towards human characters.
What Parents Need to Know About The Deep Web & The Dark Web
While the deep web and the dark web are not the same thing, they do overlap significantly. The Deep Web refers to pages that are not indexed, which means that most search engines (Google, Bing etc) won’t return them to you after a search. The dark web is part of the World Wide Web that is only accessible by installing and using special software. It is the unregulated part of the internet; no organisation, business, or government oversees it or can apply rules. This is why the dark web is commonly associated with illegal practices.
What Parents Need to Know About Video Streaming Apps & Sites
Streaming is the latest step in a journey that’s taken us all the way from records and cassettes to CDs and DVDs and, more recently, to downloads. It’s a seamless way of watching or listening to all sorts of content such as TV shows, films, sports highlights and music, over an internet connection in ‘real time’, without having to download a file or store it on your device. You can either stream ‘on-demand’ or live. YouTube was one of the first video streaming services to go mainstream, but today many of the world’s most popular websites are streaming platforms, including Netflix, Spotify, and BBC iPlayer.
What Parents Need to Know About Online Hoaxes
Online hoaxes are fictional stories circulated online, frequently intended to shape people’s beliefs or opinions. They have been around as long as the internet itself. Older more basic and transparent hoaxes have been replaced with something far more believable. Nowadays, anyone can put together a believable looking photo, video or website in hours and minutes, rather than days and weeks. Combined with the speed at which social media operates, this allows online hoaxes to flourish.
What Parents Need to Know About Gaming Streamers & Influencers
Streamers are people who stream themselves gaming, drawing, making things etc. for people to watch on the internet. Usually, this will be done live, and others are able to chat with them in real time while they do so. Influencers are social media stars who hold influence over the people that follow them, like a kind trend-setter or taste-maker, who companies often pay to promote their products. A streamer could also be considered an influencer in their chosen area.
What Parents Need to Know About Streaming
Streaming is the latest step in a journey that’s taken us all the way from records and cassettes to CD’s and DVD’s and, more recently, to downloads. It’s a seamless way of watching or listening to all sorts of content such as TV shows, films, sports highlights and music, over an internet connection in ‘real time’, without having to download a file or store it on your device. You can either stream ‘on-demand’ or live. YouTube was one of the first video streaming services to go mainstream, but today many of the world’s most popular websites are streaming platforms, including Netflix, Spotify, and BBC iPlayer.
What Parents Need to Know About Remote Access & Remote Data Deletion
Remote access, as the term suggests, refers to the ability to access a computer, such as a home computer or a machine that’s connected to a school’s network, from a remote location. Remote access can be set up using a local area network (LAN), a wide area network (WAN) or a virtual private network (VPN), and once established, it gives you full control over the device you’re ‘remoting’ to. You can then run any applications and even open files on the machine.
What Parents Need to Know About Location Tracking
Location tracking has always been a fundamental part of the way mobile phones work, the most basic element of which is the ability to triangulate a device’s position in relation to a mobile network’s radio masts. As smartphones became popular, Global Positioning System (GPS), Wireless networking (Wi-Fi), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies complemented this, any one or combination of which can now feed highly accurate location data via any app on that device.
What Parents Need to Know About Fitness Trackers
A fitness tracker is a wrist-worn device that can measure your level of physical activity during the day. Each fitness tracker focuses on different things but in general, they tend to count steps taken, record sleep patterns and enable activity goals. They can also monitor heart rate, running distance and more. The first fitness tracker was created by Garmin in 2016 but Fitbit popularised fitness trackers for children by introducing the Fitbit Ace in 2018. Now they can be synched to children’s smartphones and used to make physical activity fun for children by giving out virtual badges or encouraging family challenges.
What Parents Need to Know About Music Streaming Apps & Sites
Music streaming apps allow people to listen to music on their devices. It gives users access to millions of songs and artists from around the world. Popular music streaming apps and sites include Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, Amazon Prime and Deezer. Music streaming allows children to listen to songs from around the world in a much easier and cheaper way. This enables them to showcase their talent which would have been very hard to do many years back.
What Parents Need to Know About Catfishing
Catfishing is when someone creates a fake online profile to trick people into thinking they are somebody else. They assume a fake identity and go the extra mile to make their victim believe that they are exactly who they say they are. Catfishers make up life stories and use photographs of unsuspecting victims to create fake identities. They will share life experiences, hobs, friends, and photographs to their fake accounts.
What Parents Need to Know About Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a privacy tool used to hide internet activity from prying eyes. Without a VPN, internet traffic is sent directly from your computer or smartphone, letting anyone in-between you and a website or service that you’re accessing (such as a wireless hotspot owner or your ISP) see what you’re doing. With a VPN, a secure tunnel is created between your computer or phone and what’s known as the endpoint. The endpoint is merely the part of the internet where your connection comes out and can be in the same country as you or located anywhere else in the world.
What Parents Need to Know About Lifestyle Sites
‘Lifestyle sites’ is a bit of a catch-all term because, unfortunately, much of the internet is built to take advantage of human psychological weakness. Essentially, lifestyle sites are websites, apps and social media platforms that use underhand tricks to keep people hooked in and to sell products. They can also be sites which are set up online communities experiencing issues around topics such as physical and mental health, but which are unregulated, unlike more established and verified agencies which can offer similar support.
What Parents Need to Know About Voice Activated Searching
Voice activated search, also known as ‘voice search’ or ‘voice-enabled search’ is a search tool that allows the user to use a voice command to search the internet, a website, or an app. It is commonly associated with smart speakers or digital assistants such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana. They can be used on smartphones and also operate on separate devices like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. They are particularly beneficial for children with disabilities who struggle with using a keyboard.
What Parents Need to Know About Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Sharing
Peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing is the process of transferring digital content, such as electronic books, music, or video clips from one computer to another. In a P2P network, each ‘peer’ is an end-users computer connected to the other ‘peer’ via the internet. Typically, this is done with the help of P2P software programmes, such as Napster or BitTorrent, where files are indexed on a central server, making them available for other users to find and download.
What Parents Need to Know About Screengrabs
Phones, tablets, and computers all have a feature that allows you to instantly capture and save still images of the content that’s currently displayed on your screen. These images are called screengrabs, though you may also know them as ‘screenshots’ or ‘screencaps’. Screengrabs are incredibly useful for countless reasons. They can let you quickly save a copy of information you might easily forget, like instructions or a number, email address or article, capture a funny sill from a video clip, and even get around Twitter’s 280-character limit for tweets.
What Parents Need to Know About Age Ratings
A game’s age rating can be used by adults to make an informed choice as to whether or not a game is suitable for their child. The PEGI (Pan European Game Information) system rates games and, instead of indicating the level of ability required to physically play a game, it indicates the suitability of content for that age group. 3, 7, 12, 16 and 18 are the labels that can be awarded to games and a variety of content descriptions such as violence, bad language and fear are used to further clarify why the label was assigned.
What Parents Need to Know About Friends & Followers
What makes social media actually ‘social’ are the connections users make with other users on the platforms. Every social networking site handles these connections differently, calling them ‘connections’, ‘friends’ and ‘followers’, amongst others. Having friends and followers is how we find out what other people say and do. Your friends and followers are much more likely to see your online content than those outside of your network, which is why it’s important to be mindful of who you connect with and what you share. On some platforms, if two accounts follow each other, this may allow additional communication channels such as private messaging.
What Parents Need to Know About Hacking
Hacking is the unauthorised attempt to exploit a computer system or network. There are different types of hackers who are usually categorised under ‘hats’. White hat hackers are known as ethical hackers and have no intent to cause harm, but rather will penetrate a system to identify weaknesses. Black hat hackers or Crackers are those who intentionally hack to gain unauthorised access to harm or steal sensitive information. Grey hat hackers act more for fun and exploit security weaknesses in computer systems to raise awareness of issues for recognition, political awareness, or financial reward.
What Parents Need to Know About Search Engines
A search engine is something that helps you find what you’re looking for on the internet. By far the most used and well-known search engine is Google, which powers more than nice out of ten internet searches in the UK, according to Statcounter.com. Search engines can be used to find results such as website, images and videos, which is where the dangers start to arise.
What Parents Need to Know About Online Avatars
Online avatars are digital characters that look like you. They are a form of self-representation without using an actual picture. The use of online avatars is popular in online communities and on video gaming platforms. There are usually three different types of avatars found online; cartoon, anime and image avatars, which tend to be the most popular. Avatars can be a good way to protect your child’s identity online and reduce the risk from impersonation or identity theft. However, they can also be misused by other users who can use them for their own advantage.
What Parents Need to Know About Games Consoles
Much like a television allows you to watch movies or a radio allows you to listen to music, a game console allows you to play video games. The most modern ones are names you might be familiar with – Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and Nintendo Switch – and almost all of them can now connect to the internet and be enjoyed online with friends.
What Parents Need to Know About Torrent Sites
A torrent site is a website on the internet where visitors can upload, share, and download files. Whilst some torrent sites are legal, others are not due to the sharing of copyrighted material such as books, music, and movies. A torrent site allows users to download pieces of a particular file from various other users, known as seeders, until the complete file is downloaded.
What Parents Need to Know About Trolling & Online Abuse
Trolling is a form of cyberaggression. It involved the sending of malicious, abusive or derogatory messages by one user (a ‘troll’) to another user online with the intention of upsetting or harassing them or damaging their reputation. It is often anonymous and does not meet the definition of bullying, yet might develop into online bullying. Trolls will often goad others until they react. They enjoy putting people down and causing discord, starting arguments or being inflammatory – stirring things up for their own entertainment. Trolling may take the form of a one-off offensive comment, hate speech or even threats made online.
What Parents Need to Know About Triller
Triller is a social media video sharing app. Unlike TikTok and many other video sharing apps, Triller focuses more on making creative music videos. Users can film multiple takes of themselves and the app with then automatically compile the best clips and turn it into a music video. It is free to download and has amassed over 250 million downloads worldwide, including celebrity users such as Justin Bieber, Eminem and Alicia Keys.
What Parents Need to Know About Instagram
Instagram is a hugely popular social networking app with over 1 billion users worldwide. The app, which is accessible on iOS and Android devices, allows users to upload images and videos to their feed, create interactive ‘stories’, exchange private messages or search, explore and follow other accounts they like. Images and videos can be transformed with an array of filters to edit the shot before sharing and anyone with an account can see others’ online ‘galleries’ if their account is not private. To make posts easier to find, users can include searchable hashtags and captions to their uploads. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help parents and carers understand exactly what Instagram is about.
What Parents Need to Know About Phishing
Phishing is a form of cyber-attack where victims are targeted in the form of spoof emails, phone calls or texts. These are commonly carried out by an attacker posing as someone else to influence individuals into giving out sensitive data such as payment details and passwords. Phishing usually takes place via email, where the attacker manipulates a message to make it appear to be from someone else, therefore deceiving the victim into doing as they say. Hackers try to deceive you into downloading malicious code and will aim to extract small pieces of information at a time.
What Parents Need to Know About Webcams
Most commonly found embedded in laptop screens and smartphones, webcams are tiny video/still cameras designed to let you participate in video calls on services such as Skype and Zoom. They have become hugely popular since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, allowing homeworkers to chat with remote colleagues and helping friends and families stay in touch. However, there are many security and privacy risks associated with webcams that owners should be aware of.
What Parents Need to Know About Call of Duty: Warzone
Call of Duty: Warzone is the latest and possibly biggest battle royale game on the market, following in the footsteps of titles like Fortnite, Apex Legends and PUBG. In Warzone, up to 150 players will drop onto a huge map in teams of three battling it out in an ever-shrinking radius, in a bid to become the last team standing. Because this is a Call of Duty game, you already know what you’re getting; fast-paced action that includes depictions of violence and coarse language - and that’s before you even consider players from across the globe adding their own voices to the mix.
What Parents Need to Know About Sexting
Sexting involved sending, receiving or forwarding explicit messages, images, or video of a sexual nature. Although mobile phones are the most common vehicle for sexting, the term can also apply to sending sexually explicit messages through any digital media such as email, instant messaging, and/or social media sites. They can be set to or from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone your child has met online. Sexting is often described as the new flirting for children, but it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18. Soe of the main platforms it occurs on are Snapchat, Tinder, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Kik.
What Parents Need to Know About Protecting Personal Data
Personal data is a strange commodity. Cyber thieves can buy huge quantities of personal data on the black market for very little, yet your own personal data is hugely valuable to you. If your personal data falls into the wrong hands, it could lead to identity theft, bank fraud or something even more sinister such as stalking. The severity of that threat is multiplied when it comes to the personal data of children, when threats such as internet grooming begin to emerge. The bad news is that children aren’t always great at safeguarding sensitive information, which is why they need parents’ help and guidance. That’s why we’ve created this guide to show you how you can protect your own and your family’s personal data.
What Parents Need to Know About Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams, or simply ‘Teams’, is a platform that allows for collaborative working, either as students or as professionals, using communication capabilities through audio, video and instant messaging. The software is available both online through a web browser and to download from microsoft.com. Users can have 1:1 online meetings or set up live events to host up to 10,000 people. Groups can be set up to include only relevant users and almost all file-types can be uploaded and shared, from PDFs and Word documents to audio and video files.
What Parents Need to Know About Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a communication and chat application which is part of the wider Facebook platform and has been a standalone app on mobile devices since 2011. Through Messenger, users can exchange messages and send photos, videos, stickers, gifs, audio files and play games. It allows both one-to-one conversations and group chats, has a ‘stories’ feature and provides the ability to set up a video call session with up to 50 people at a time through its latest update, Messenger Rooms. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help parents and carers understand exactly what Facebook Messenger is about.
What Parents Need to Know About PlayStation 4
There’s a good chance you already know what the PlayStation 4 (PS4) is. Sony’s video game console is often touted as being one of the best-selling of all time, with over 100 million units shifted worldwide. With over seven years of polishing and fi¬ne-tuning under its belt, you’d expect the console to be one of the safest around. While this is overwhelmingly true, there are still things parents should be on the lookout for whether they’re children are starting it up for the ¬first time or they’re already experienced users.
What Parents Need to Know About Online Grooming
Online Grooming is when someone befriends and builds an emotional relationship with a child and communicates with them through the internet with the intent to commit a sexual offence. This type of victimisation can take place across any platform; from social media and messaging apps to online gaming and live streaming. Often it involves young people being tricked, forced or pressured into doing something they wouldn’t normally do (coercion) and often the groomer’s goal is to meet the victim in a controlled setting to sexually or physically abuse them. In some cases children may be abducted or have long-lasting psychological damage.
What Parents Need to Know About Google Stadia
Google Stadia marks the tech giant’s first proper foray into the world of video games. Not strictly competing directly with the already established household names of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, Stadia has something else to offer; online streaming. In a nutshell, Stadia beams its catalogue of video games directly into your house via wi-fi¬, allowing you to play on compatible mobiles, tablets, computers and televisions with console quality. The technology opens up a whole new world of accessibility for those who don’t want to commit to the console cycle, but the risks of online gaming remain ever present.
What Parents Need to Know About Netflix
Launched in 1997, Netflix is now one of the world’s leading online streaming services, providing users with unlimited access to a huge selection of TV shows and films. It’s available on any internet-connected device that supports the Netflix app, from smart TVs and games consoles to tablets and smartphones and is becoming increasingly popular with a younger audience. This is unsurprising given consumer attitudes are changing more towards video-on-demand (VoD) services. That’s why we’ve created this guide to help parents and carers understand exactly what Netflix is about.
What Parents Need to Know About Disney+
Disney+ is the latest big player in the TV streaming market. The global brand has released its own subscription-based streaming service to rival that of competitors such as Netfl¬ix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. As the name might suggest, it’s designed to be family friendly, with content restricted to PG and PG-13 (UK equivalent 12a). It can be streamed on pretty much any device – mobile phones, tablets, PC’s, TVs and games consoles – and features a huge library of classic Disney titles. Below, we’ve highlighted a few tips for parents to consider to ensure that their children get the most enjoyable experience out of the service.
What Parents Need to Know About Zoom
Founded in 2011, Zoom is one the world’s leading video conferencing software providers. It has a number of features, including video and audio conferencing, real-time messaging, screen-sharing and the ability to upload, share and search for content. Users can start their own meetings or they can join meetings set up by others. The app is available to use across PCs, laptops, tablets and mobiles phones and is free to download on both the app store and on Android.
A Guide to Safer Live Lessons
An online lesson occurs when teachers use video conferencing software to ‘live stream’ lessons to their pupils. Some of the most popular apps and websites that support this include Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Online lessons can be a great way to replicate classroom interaction, ask immediate questions and gather instant feedback. It’s also convenient and allows learning to take place anywhere with an internet connection. However, live lessons aren’t always accessible to everyone and younger children will need a lot of parental supervision, which isn’t always practical.
What parents need to know about Houseparty
Houseparty is a live streaming app described as a face-to-face social network where people ‘drop in’ on each other to video chat, leave messages and hang out in groups. The app is available for iOS, Android, macOS and Google Chrome and has tens of millions of users worldwide. It’s important to note that children under the age of 13 must have a parent’s permission to access the services, however, no proof of age is required to create an account.
How to Maintain Good Mental Wellbeing During Isolation
Wellbeing is about being able to experience good health, happiness and high life satisfaction, including managing your stress. It’s not always easy to find the right strategies to establish and maintain your wellbeing. Often the most successful methods are unique to you and ones that can be consistently applied like for instance, every week.
How to Clean Devices Guide
Our electronic devices can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. Many viruses, including coronavirus, can stick around for several hours or even days after being touched by or otherwise coming into contact with an infected person. With that knowledge, keeping them clean can be as important as keeping ourselves protected in order to avoid becoming ill and maintaining a high level of hygiene and cleanliness. We have therefore created this guide to help you clean your devices effectively.
What Parents Need to Know About Omegle
Omegle is a website that pairs random strangers for live text or video chats. It ¬first launched in 2009 and its slogan is “Talk to strangers!” There is an option for adult (18+) content and a section for people aged 13+ with parental permission. Anyone can use the site. Users simply go to Omegle.com and then choose ‘Text’ or ‘Video’ chat and the page states how many users are currently online. Depending on the time of day this can be hundreds of thousands. Omegle markets itself as a great way to meet new friends however has been known to feature pornography and inappropriate content within chats, so it’s important parents are aware of the risks associated with the site.
What Parents Need to Know About Steam
Steam is the largest video game digital distribution platform on the planet by quite some distance. Serving as a one-stop-shop for buying and playing video games on your PC, Steam’s game library exceeds over 30,000 titles ranging from fun children’s games to those with extreme adult content. It’s certainly possible to play games on a computer without Steam, but there’s no denying it makes the entire process much, much easier with its download and play model. While Steam is by-and-large perfectly safe, parents should still be aware of the potential pitfalls embedded within PC gaming’s most well-known digital distribution platform.
What Parents Need to Know About Hidden Photo Apps
The latest digital trend growing in popularity for our children are apps on their phone or tablet that look like one thing but are secretly hiding another purpose. They fi¬rst became particularly popular in 2016. However, children are becoming more and more familiar with ‘secret’ photo hiding apps, where an app which looks relatively ordinary is actually a hidden gateway to private photos and videos. These apps allow their users to hide images, videos and notes within the app which is also passcode protected. One of the most common types of hidden app used is a ‘fake calculator’ app however many others are also available.
From Online Gaming to Online Gambling: Recognising the Signs
The digital world that we live in can be a mine eld for families and parents/carers. The way in which children ‘game’ now is completely di¬fferent to how modern day parents and carers would have experienced. The ‘monetization’ of gaming is at the forefront of research and there are increasing concerns surrounding online gaming and the subsequent links this has with underage gambling.
What Parents Need to Know About Facebook
Facebook is an online social media platform that has over 2 billion users across the globe. It was initially for university students but soon expanded out and since 2006, anyone over the age of 13 is able to join the platform. It is available on all devices from your desktop and laptop computer to smartphones and tablets. Users can add photos and videos, update their status, interact with others and catch up with the latest news. Despite requiring users to be over 13, there are no age verification measures and children can easily create an account. It’s therefore important that parents familiarise themselves with the main features of the platform to ensure their young ones remain safe if and when they use it.
What Parents Need to Know About Minecraft
There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Minecraft. The block building phenomenon is, arguably, the most beloved video game of all time which has managed to maintain its popularity since its first release back in 2011. Nine years later, it still has a huge userbase of 112 million people playing the game every month. Accessible to those 7+, Minecraft can be a gateway into a world of learning and exploration which encourages players to use their imagination to build three-dimensional worlds with virtual building blocks. While Minecraft is considered relatively safe generally speaking, there are some safety precautions parents may want to consider before allowing their children loose on the game.
What Parents Need to Know About TikTok
TikTok is a video-sharing social media app available on iOS and Android which lets users create, share, and view user created videos in a similar manner to Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Its main draw, however, is that users can record and upload bite-sized looping videos of themselves lip-syncing and dancing to popular music or soundbites, often for comedic effect, which can then be further enhanced with filers, emojis and stickers. TikTok has been designed with the young user in mind and has a very addictive appeal. At the beginning of 2019 it skyrocketed in popularity and has featured near the top of download charts ever since. Estimates suggest that it now has anything between 500 million and over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide.
12 Social Media Safety Tips
With Christmas only a few weeks away, many of you will be using social media to share your excitement with friends and family. Being active on social media is a great way to show others how much fun you’re having, but it’s important that you know how to use these apps safely and securely so that bad things don’t happen. By following our social media safety tips below, you can make sure that your personal information stays private, your postings are positive and that your social media use overall is responsible, healthy and most of all enjoyable.
12 Smartphone Online Safety Tips
The Christmas season has finally arrived and soon many of you will be opening your presents in the hope that Santa has listened to your request for the latest mobile phone or smart device. Owning a mobile phone can be fun, but it’s important to use it safely and responsibly. By following our safety tips, you can make sure that you set up your phone securely, keep your personal information private and enjoy using your phone in the healthiest way possible.
Online Safety Tips For Children
Technology and the internet are part of our daily lives. It’s almost impossible for our children to avoid coming into contact with the online world. From social media apps to messaging services to online gaming, it’s important that we, as trusted adults, help to protect them from harm. But it’s just as important that they too know how to respond to online dangers. That’s why we’ve created this useful guide for children outlining various online safety do’s and don’ts to help empower them to make the right decisions when interacting with the online world.
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Online Safety Guide
Call of Duty is undeniably one of the most recognisable video games on the planet. The first Call of Duty game was released for the PC way back in 2003, and the franchise has spawned a whopping 16 titles to date, and featured on almost 20 gaming consoles and devices. Despite being one of the most popular games on the market, Call of Duty has never been a stranger to controversy; themes of war, terrorism and other adult subjects parents and guardians might feel uncomfortable exposing their children to, have always been a part of the series. The latest iteration, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, is no different, even doubling down on some of these mature themes. So with that in mind, here’s a helpful guide to aid you in navigating the world of Call of Duty.
Cyberbullying (Online Bullying) Guide
The Diana Award definition of bullying is “repeated negative behaviour that is intended to make others feel upset, uncomfortable or unsafe.” Cyberbullying is bullying which takes place online. It can involve anything from sending messages to posting offensive comments to uploading and sharing private or embarrassing photos. It is classed as an indirect form of bullying when compared to verbal or physical bullying, given it usually takes place through a digital device. However, for those experiencing bullying behaviour, the consequences can be just as serious and have far reaching effects.
FIFA 20 Online Safety Guide
You don't need to be the biggest football fan in the world to have heard of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) - the governing body for football. And, the video game series bearing the organisation's name is one of the most successful ever. The lure of this football series is that official licensing gives your child the opportunity to play games in the role of their favourite players. They can either work through a story mode version of the game or play online in competitions against other players. The game, released annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label, is available for a range of consoles, and there are also mobile versions available for smartphones and tablets.
Safer Apps and Games for Children
In an ever-evolving online world, sometimes it’s difficult to make sense of the huge selection of apps and games available to young minds. The choices are almost endless and it’s not always possible to know which apps are age-appropriate, which games are safe to play and just what content your child is being exposed to. That’s why we’ve created these three handy guides for parents and carers with suggested apps and games that children might enjoy using to learn and play.
Fortnite Chapter 2 Online Safety Guide
Fortnite: Chapter 2 has finally landed! With a whole host of new in-game features including a brand-new map, more water-based activities, upgraded character skins and a more streamlined arsenal of weapons, this Fortnite is promising to be the best yet. Almost all of the changes are cosmetic which means the concept of the game remains the same, with players still aiming to be the last man standing. Players will no doubt find the game much more enjoyable with so much more to explore. For parents and carers however, it pays to remain vigilant.
YouTube Kids Online Safety Guide
Although children of all ages often watch YouTube content directly via the website or main YouTube app, YouTube itself states that the only place children should be watching its videos is in the YouTube Kids app.
Social Pressures Linked to ‘Appearance’ Online Safety Guide
Social media has its benefits for connecting with friends, sharing experiences and widening their understanding of broader issues beyond their local community. The challenge with connecting and sharing experiences via social media is that these shared experiences are often via images. Wanting to fit in and caring about their physical appearance is a perfectly normal part of adolescence. However, with the easy access of image changing software and filters, this physical appearance is often not the reality, further increasing the pressure for young people to gain or portray unreal perceptions.
Social Pressures Linked to ‘Social Media Influencers’ Online Safety Guide
Social media influencers are people who have established credibility in a specific industry and have the power to influence other people’s decisions. Most commonly associated with YouTube and Instagram, ‘influencers’ will usually have a large number of followers and be viewed as authentic by their audience. It is for this reason that many influencers are often paid by big companies to promote their products in the hope of persuading their followers to purchase those goods.
Social Pressures Linked To ‘Friends and Followers’ Online Safety Guide
The whole concept of social media relies upon users having friends and/or followers. ‘Friends’ tend to be those with whom users will share their own personal profile. It’s usually a mutual relationship with both parties able to engage and interact with everything their friends post online. ‘Followers’ on the other hand can typically be just one-way relationships and, dependent on the platform, only provide access to certain aspects of an individual’s profile, such as a person’s content feed. A common trait that often exists between the two however is the desire to gather as many friends or followers as possible.
Social Pressures Linked To ‘Likes’ Online Safety Guide
‘Likes’ are a simple way for users to show that they like a post on social media. This could be anything from photos and videos to status updates and comments. The feature is widely used on several social media platforms and is extremely popular on Instagram and Facebook. It is often used by children to measure the success of their social media post and gauge opinion. However, it can also bring a number of social pressures, particularly if users start to question their own levels of popularity.
Fortnite Battle Royale Online Safety Guide
There’s a very good chance you’ve heard of Fortnite, but what exactly is it? And why is it so popular amongst young people? Fortnite is an online multi-player “battle royale” game developed by Epic Games, and is playable on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobiles. It gained popularity in late 2017 and has since become the biggest game in the world, thanks to its rapid and engaging gameplay.
Virtual Reality Online Safety Guide
VR – or Virtual Reality to you and me – is the practice of creating computer generated images or sometimes even entire worlds for a user to experience as if they were there. Whereas traditionally we’d use a television screen to view these images and games, technology now allows us to simply put on a headset with much smaller screens inside and become fully immersed in these new worlds. While virtual reality is perfectly safe on the whole (although sometimes you might feel like you’re in real, physical danger) there are some things to look out for if you plan on giving it a try.
Nintendo Switch Online Safety Guide
The Switch is a hybrid console released by popular video game company Nintendo in 2017. It’s classed as a hybrid because it’s designed to be played both at home on a television-like traditional console (think a PlayStation or an Xbox) or out and about like a portable console, such as a GameBoy. It uses two detachable and wireless ‘Joy-Con’ controllers on either side of the console’s screen, which can be used by one or two players. The Switch can be played on the internet with the purchase of Nintendo Switch Online, in the living room together or on the go during long journeys, but bear in mind it needs to be charged just like anything else!
FaceApp Online Safety Guide
FaceApp, as the name suggests, is an app by Wireless Lab which uses uploaded images of someone’s face, and allows them to add a variety of interesting filters making themselves look older, younger, appear with different hair colour and so on. The app uses either the camera on your phone to take a selfie, or lets you use a picture from somewhere like Facebook or Instagram to apply these filters. While this all sounds like innocent fun, there have been some valid concerns raised about the terms and conditions, and what the company is doing with all these selfies and pictures.
How to manage what your children watch on TV Online Safety Guide
Thanks to the internet, there are now many ways for your children to watch TV, both the old fashioned way on a big screen and via the internet with on-demand programming. Restricting and controlling what your kids can watch is harder than ever, but with our help you can make TV safer for your kids and limit the amount that they can watch.
Telegram Online Safety Guide
Telegram is a free messaging service which is very similar to WhatsApp. Users can message each other as well as send images, videos, audio clips and other files using end to end encryption. People can also create groups and broadcast messages to a worldwide audience. Telegram differentiates itself from WhatsApp due to operating via a cloud-based system which means users can access the app across any device and can share and receive much bigger files. It also prides itself as being faster and more secure than any other messaging app on the market.
Safety Guide to Home Internet Controls
It’s easy for a child to come across harmful content online whether by accident or on purpose. Internet filtering software is your line of defence. Here’s everything you need to know about internet controls in a handy guide, covering router filtering controls, parental software controls, ISP filtering controls and useful recommendations.
Screen Addiction Safety Guide
It can be challenging for parents and carers to know whether children are spending too much time on their devices. Furthermore, it’s even more of a challenge to know whether a child is addicted to the internet and social media. As technology is becoming more pervasive, children and young people are experiencing tech – related dependencies. Do we as parents and carers have the knowledge to identify and support children and young people who may be developing an addiction to their devices?
YOLO Online Safety Guide
YOLO is an anonymous question and answer app that works in combination with Snapchat. In May 2019 it became the most downloaded app in the UK iTunes store only a week after its release and with no prior marketing or promotion. It has become hugely popular amongst children, particularly teenagers, as it offers them the opportunity to join in anonymous Q&A without having to reveal their identities, which often encourages more honest and open peer feedback.
Snapchat Online Safety Guide
Snapchat is a photo sharing app for mobile phones and tablets. The app allows users to share images for a limited number of seconds, chat with users before messages disappear, and share images with their friends list through a ‘story’.
Call of Duty Online Safety Guide
‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ (COD) is an online first-person shooter game. It’s available on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. COD allows players to choose different game modes, including a multiplayer mode, ‘Zombies’ mode and a ‘Blackout’ mode. In the game, players can customise their character and weapons.
Discord Online Safety Guide
With over 14 million daily users, Discord is one of the most popular communication tools for gamers. It allows you to create or join what are known as ‘servers’, where different users can talk in groups via text message or voice call. There is also the option to send direct messages and make video calls.
Tumblr Online Safety Guide
Tumblr is a popular social media platform and microblogging site with over 463 million blogs on its platform. In Europe you must be over 16 to sign up, but the age limit is just 13 elsewhere. However, in both cases, age verification is limited. The platform is designed to share different types of content, such as videos, photos or short articles. People can react to each other’s content, share items they like, and even interact through the platform with direct messages.
Home Devices Online Safety Guide
Smart devices promise to make our lives easier. And in many cases – they do. But these new technologies present risks too. Whether you’re using a digital assistant to record your shopping list or you’re controlling your lights through a smart system, many smart functions can be ‘hacked’ and controlled by someone outside your home. This guide will help you identify some of the ways you can stay alert and protect yourself.
YouTube Online Safety Guide
YouTube is an online platform – owned by Google – where anyone can upload & watch video content. All different types of information, advice & entertainment are uploaded & billions of people tune in to watch, rate & comment on it. As a parent, it’s important you understand exactly what content your children might be seeing.
Online Challenges Guide
In today’s digitally connected world, children and adults are constantly presented with new ways to engage, react and contribute. We’re sociable beings; it’s a natural human instinct, especially amongst younger audiences, to want to belong and join in. Viral Challenges (as they’re often known) draw on these emotions and, as the name suggests, spread and gather pace very rapidly. New challenges are constantly emerging and evolving. They’re often completely innocent, raising awareness of worthy causes or simply providing amusement. However, they can have much more sinister undertones, putting children at risk of physical harm or, in extreme cases, fatal injury.
Apex Legends Online Safety Guide
Apex Legends is a multiplayer battle royale video game which is free to play. In this game, twenty squads consisting of three players each are dropped onto an island from a dropship, where they compete against each other to be the last team standing. Each player on the squad gets to choose a ‘Legend’ to play with; one of eight unique characters with a specialised skillset in either ‘Offense’,’ Defense’, ‘Support’ or ‘Recon’. The players begin with no weapons or equipment and have to comb through an ever-shrinking play area for these, all the while killing enemies to emerge as the victorious trio. The game is available on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Grand Theft Auto Online Safety Guide
Grand Theft Auto is an action-adventure video game series where players control criminals and wreak havoc in order to complete missions and progress through the game. During the early stages of the game, it solely focused on completing missions to go up a level. However, as the game grew more popular the makers of GTA decided to introduce a narrative to each edition of the game. The aim of this was to increase user engagement, making gamers believe that they were not just playing as the character, but they became the character. Grand Theft Auto is accessible on a number of devices including: PlayStation and Xbox, desktop computers, PSP, Nintendo DS, and Mobile.
Fake News Online Safety Guide
Fake news can be false information, photos or videos purposefully created to confuse or misinform. It can also be genuine information that has been manipulated to deceive. It is important that we learn how to distinguish between real news and fake news.
Twitter Online Safety Guide
Twitter is a social networking site where users can post ‘tweets’ or short messages, photos and videos publicly. They can also share ‘tweets’ written by others to their followers. Twitter is popular with young people, as it allows them to interact with celebrities, stay up to date with news, trends and current social relevance.
Kik Online Safety Guide
Kik is a free messaging app used by 300 million people worldwide that lets users exchange messages, photos, videos, GIFs and webpages via a Wi-Fi connection or data plan. Kik is unusual in that your child can sign up without a phone number and then find and message other people via just their username. Kik is aimed at anyone aged 13 years and older – the app says teens between 13 and 18 years old will need parental permission but it does not verify ages.
Twitch Online Safety Guide
Twitch is a gaming-focussed live-streaming service, owned by Amazon, where you can watch others play games live and listen to commentary as they play. It has 15 million daily active users and more than three million people live broadcast video game streams and other content on Twitch, with channels dedicated to just about every popular video game imaginable – both modern and retro. There are also shows that feature gaming competitions, professional tournaments, game-related chat and news. Plus, numerous non-gaming channels covering everything from cookery and music to art and travel. But Twitch is not just about watching other people’s shows – anyone can broadcast their own gaming action.
LiveMe Online Safety Guide
LiveMe is a streaming video app that lets you watch live streams and broadcast your own live videos to anyone interested. The service, which claims to have amassed more than 60 million global users and streams around 300,000 hours of footage a day, is aimed at giving creators a ‘platform to reach a wide audience and share their talents and passions directly with their fans’. Users can buy virtual coins and gifts and send these to broadcasters who create content ‘they love’, which can be redeemed for real money.
Online Bullying Guide
Online bullying – also known as cyberbullying – is bullying that takes place ON THE INTERNET (online) or via electronic devices and mobile phones. Online Bullying can include: Sending someone mean or threatening emails, direct messages or text messages; Hacking into someone’s online account; Being rude or mean to someone when playing online games; Posting private or embarrassing photos online or sending them to others; Creating fake social media accounts that mock someone or trick them; Excluding someone from an online conversation or blocking them for no reason.
7 Questions to help you start a conversation with your child about Online Safety
Talking about the online world with your child can be difficult, and some topics can be particularly awkward; for you and your child! As a result of this, we have put together a series of 7 questions that will help you start an initial conversation with your child, so you have a better understanding of what they do online and how you can protect them. Additionally, it’s important to note that regular conversations with your child about the Internet will help your child to build confidence when talking about online issues, and therefore help to build trust too.
App Store Online Safety Guide
‘Apps’ are designed to run on certain devices and are written for a speciﬁc operating system, such as Apple iOS, Windows, or Android. The oﬃcial store for the Apple iOS operating system is known as the ‘App Store’ When your children are using the app store, you need to be aware of the risks…
Roblox Online Safety Guide
Roblox is a multi-player online gaming platform which allows children to play and create a variety of games in a 3D world. Roblox is free to play and available on all modern smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
Reddit Online Safety Guide
Reddit is a rather unique site that blends the idea of a social network with news, discussion forums and various other media. The site is broken down into a huge number of categories covering every topic imaginable. Each category is treated as a community and users can submit content for others to see and comment on. This can take the form of links to existing online content or user-generated text and image-based submissions. Submitted content can not only be commented on by others, but also rated using the upvote/downvote system.
Yubo Online Safety Guide
Yubo is a location-based social networking app which used to be called 'Yellow', and has been dubbed ‘Tinder for teens’ in the media due to its similarities with adult dating app, in which users swipe to find matches. Its official guidelines do not permit users under the age of 13 on the app, while those aged between 13 and 17 must have parental permission to create a profile.
Live Streaming Online Safety Guide
Live streaming is the term used to describe the broadcast of a real time video from a mobile device, tablet or games console. Many live streaming apps have functionality for interactions from viewers, such as commenting, live chats and sending reactions during the broadcast. Live streaming opens up a world of excitement for children, where they can watch live concerts, their favourite celebrities and bloggers/vloggers, connect with their friends, watch live gaming and much, much more.
WhatsApp Online Safety Guide
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with more than 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries using it to send and receive text, photos, videos and documents, as well as make voice and video calls through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. The free app oﬀers end-to-end encryption, which means that messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient in one-to-one chats, or all members if it is a group chat. Not even WhatsApp can read them.