Monday, 19 December 2016

12 Shares of Christmas - an excellent guide to managing e-safety

'12 Shares of Christmas': Tips to stop over-sharing online

2016 is set to be the most shared Christmas ever as children unwrap tablets and phones, but sharing brings it's own risks....

Social media has many benefits, but the instant nature of posting and sharing means it's incredibly easy to give too much information away, be it personal information, opinions or private photographs.
Sharing can have negative consequences, including providing personal details to undesirable people and damaging your online reputation. 
Internet Matters, a not for profit e-safety group has created 12 tips for parents to help stop children oversharing and use the internet safely.
1. Are they sharing inappropriate selfies?
Discuss the reasons why they feel the need to share such images and the potential long-term impact this could have on them if the pictures are used without their consent.
Peer pressure and the desire for attention can be reasons why some children feel the need to share inappropriate photos with their online friends.
2. Do you feel they're spending too much time on social?
Talk together so they understand your concerns. Agree house rules on when and how long they can go online and which sites they should visit.
3. Are they sharing their location through apps?
Make sure geolocation is disabled to keep their whereabouts private. Explain why it's important that they never share personal information with people they don’t know online.
4. Have they posted too much personal information?
Talk to them about who they've shared the information with and assess the risk it poses to your child. You can also ask your child to remove the information from their account and help them understand how to share safely.
5. Are they chatting to strangers online?
Make sure your child understands that people may hide behind fake profiles for dishonest reasons and the person they've been chatting to could easily be someone with bad intentions.
6. Are they gaming with strangers online?
Playing games online can be fun and positive but make sure your child understands people may hide behind fake profiles for dishonest reasons and learn how to block and report anything offensive.
7. Do they have hundreds of followers?
Explain that some people may not be who they say they are and tell your child how privacy settings can put them in control of who they talk to.
8. Have they shared embarrassing images?
Remind your child that these images are their personal digital footprint for years to come and advise them to use settings that only let them share with friends they know. If they’re not comfortable wearing it on their T-shirt, they shouldn’t put it online.
9. Are they at risk of being cyberbullied?
Stay calm, listen without judging and reassure your child that you can help. Discuss any action you may take together. Encourage them not to retaliate and to save any evidence.
10. Do they understand that what they share online can hurt others?
Talk together about peer pressure and how screens and anonymity can lead to behaviour that is hurtful. Remind them there’s a fine line between sharing content because it’s funny or might get lots of ‘likes' versus the potential to cause offence or hurt.
11. Have they been affected by content shared online?
Encourage them to think about why friends may share certain posts. Show them how to gently challenge their friends if they find their content offensive. Remind them they can always talk to you about things happening online.
12. Are they ready to share on social?
Most social media apps have a minimum age rating of 13. If a social network has set an age limit it means that some of the content may not be suitable for a younger child.

Social media = 'deeply unhappy children'

Social media is helping fuel a nation of "deeply unhappy" children, a charity has warned, as it published new figures showing a rise in self-harm.
Data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) found 18,778 children aged 11 to 18 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in 2015/16.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Boom Beach bullies

I'm writing about the on-line game Boom Beach. In the world, some people - just because they have defeated someone else's base - think it's appropriate to threaten or swear at that person. This hasn't happened to anyone I know or myself, but I know that people around the world have had this happen to themselves.

Aaron, Digital Leader

The problem with Club Penguin (and many games like it)

One of this game's biggest problems is the ability to chat with whoever is in the same area to you.  There is also the worry of someone saying rude things to you; saying these things results in a ban. however some mean people may talk in a way that won't resort in a ban.  The other worrying thing is that you never know who you are talking to; there could be some kind of friendly conversation going on, but on the other end there might be a grown up trying to track down your identity while talking.

If playing on a game that you can chat in, it is advised that the only people you talk to are your true friends.

David, Digital Leader

Thursday, 15 December 2016

On this gaming  platform called Minecraft you are enabled to click on a text box and talk to other gamers. This can be very dangerous as cyber bullying could be involved in the conversation. Also on this game you could become friends with someone not very nice. You could also meet up with them through conversation and then fight, swear or get upset! Personally I think that the company (Mojang) should take responsibility of this and  not allow  people to talk. They could also use human monitors that would check the message before it was sent, just in case there was inappropriate language use. I hope you should agree with me as this would most likely make our world a better and more peaceful place to live in!
                                                  Keren (Greenfields Digital Leader)

Monday, 12 December 2016

It can happen to ANYONE

Have you heard of this app?

It can downloaded from any good app store, and is a really fun activity, making your own music videos by lip synching along to pop tunes.

Sorry, that should read 'it CAN be a really fun activity'.  Unfortunately, like many apps that our children use on their devices, there is the potential to misuse it.

Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, users of can follow other users, be followed themselves, tag other users and send private messages.  

Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, you do not have to know other users in real life in order to connect with them on the app.  This means, of course, that users can be deceived about the true identity of who they are connecting with.

Just like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, if you can send and receive messages, you are vulnerable to other users sending content that is unpleasant, hurtful or even worse.

If we do not monitor children's use of apps, we are letting them connect with others in an environment where they are vulnerable.

Any app!

Friday, 25 November 2016

3 essential digital safety skills for kids

With the explosion of technology and accessibility the importance of digital safety is clear for all… however what are the skills kids need to prepare them for the exciting world ahead and when should we start introducing them?

The key to engaging children in online safety is to trust them.

So what are three essential digital safety skills children need to develop to prepare them for life?
1. Assessing risk - It’s important kids can identify what risk factors are and how to respond to each, irrespective of the platform or device 

2. Know what to disclose - There are plenty of examples when it’s okay to share certain information and keep others back 

3. Develop digital self awareness - From digital footprints, to use of capitals and profile photos, an appreciation of your digital persona is essential for understanding how the world interprets you and your actions. As adults we have grown up with social networks and the internet, however we expect children to be fully competent in these areas, without giving them the opportunity to experience them in a safe way.

Cyber scams

Have a read of this article to learn about various different types of cyber scam - there's even a quiz!

If adults are as vulnerable to these scams as the article says, what about our children?

Here's some food for thought about why it's important to manage e-safety...

Online overtakes TV as kids’ top pastime

The internet has overtaken television as the top media pastime for the UK’s children.

Ofcom Report 2016
Ofcom’s report on Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes, published recently, reveals that children’s internet use has reached record highs, with youngsters aged 5-15 spending around 15 hours each week online – overtaking time spent watching a TV set for the first time.

Even pre-schoolers, aged 3-4, are spending eight hours and 18 minutes a week online, up an hour and a half from six hours 48 minutes in the last year.
According to Ofcom’s data, children aged 5-15 have increased their weekly online time by an hour and 18 minutes in the last year to 15 hours.
In contrast, children are spending less time watching a TV set, with their weekly viewing dropping from 14 hours 48 minutes in 2015 to 13 hours 36 minutes in the last year.
YouTube is one of the most popular online destinations for children to watch content, with around three quarters (73%) of those aged 5-15 using the video site. It is also a hit with pre-schoolers with 37% regularly watching YouTube videos, who typically pick ‘TV content’ such as cartoons and mini-movies.
And older children are beginning to show a preference for YouTube with four in ten 8-11s and 12-15s saying they prefer watching YouTube than the TV set.
Despite this, Ofcom’s research shows that TV still plays an important role in children’s lives with nine in 10 still watching, generally every day, and the largest number of children watching at peak family viewing time, 6 – 9pm.
Digital childhood
Digital devices are more widespread among children than ever, including the very young. Today’s research finds that a third (34%) of pre-schoolers (aged 3-4) own their own media device – such as a tablet or games console.
Pre-schoolers typically enjoy digital entertainment on a tablet, with more than half (55%) using one, and 16% owning their own tablet – up from just 3% in 2013.
As children reach pre-to-early teenage years, they prefer smartphones to tablets – with the proportion of children owning one up from 35% to 41% in the last year. This means one in three tweens (8-11s), and eight in 10 older children (12-15s) now have their own smartphone.
As children spend more of their time online, their awareness of advertising and ‘vlogger’ endorsements has also increased with more than half of internet users aged 12-15 (55%) now aware that online advertising can be personalised - up 10 percentage points in the last year. And, 12-15s awareness of product endorsement from vloggers has also increased by 10 percentage points to 57% in 2016.
But, many children still need help to identify advertising on search engine Google with only a minority of 8-11s (24%) and 12-15s (38%) correctly recognising sponsored links.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

E-Safety: it's a life skill.

Check out the other pages on this blog for SMART tips for children, some advice for parents and a few links to get you going on managing e-safety...

The best advice I've ever heard about e-safety:

Welcome to Greenfields' brand new blog, dedicated to helping our families manage e-safety successfully.