12 Top Tips for Building Cyber Resilience at Home

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘12 Top Tips for Building Cyber Resilience at Home‘ below.

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In the last couple of decades, the volume of online traffic has increased exponentially – but, by and large, people’s awareness of the accompanying risks hasn’t grown along with it. To illustrate the scale of the issue, consider this: a report by the Internet Crime Complaint Centre found that, in the US during 2020, there was a successful cyber-attack every second. Yes: every second. 

Criminals continue to find new and devious ways to attempt to hijack our online transactions and harvest our private information. To them, the smart devices that many of us now use as standard at home are simply a convenient back door into our lives – and our networks. Check out our #WakeUpWednesday guide for advice on beefing up your household’s cyber resilience. In the guide you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as how to use a password manager, how to back up your data and how to check for breaches. 

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Twitter (2023)

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Twitter is a social media network which allows users to post short messages (‘tweets’) of up to 280 characters. Tweets can consist of text, photos, videos, audio, links, polls and GIFs – often linked by hashtags if they share a common theme or message. Hashtags receiving high levels of interest are said to be ‘trending’. Twitter users can engage with other people’s posts by liking, retweeting (sharing) or tweeting back (commenting on). Since the entrepreneur Elon Musk acquired Twitter in 2022 for $44 billion, the platform has undergone several major changes. 

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as trolls and bullying, fixation on view count and interaction with strangers. 

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft originally launched way back in 2004, and since then the game has blossomed into a major entertainment property. It’s spawned spin-off novels, merchandise and even a Hollywood movie adaptation … but why are we still talking about it in 2023? World of Warcraft’s most recent iteration, Dragonflight, launched last November and marks the game’s ninth major expansion. This latest addition has attracted a whole host of lapsed players back to the game – as well as newcomers jumping into the realm of Azeroth for the first time.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as the potential for online addiction, in-game purchases and simulated violence. 

Stay Safe on New Devices

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘Stay Safe on New Devices‘ below.

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Whether you’re an internet newbie or a pro at surfing the web, it’s always important to keep online safety in mind. We’ve pulled together a list of top tips to make it easier for you to protect yourself and your devices in the digital world – helping you steer clear of hazards like misleading information and vicious viruses. There’s never a bad time to refresh your internet safety knowledge, but it’s an especially smart thing to do before you start using any shiny new devices!

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as double-checking your news sources, taking breaks from being online and not sharing personal information.

What Parents Need to Know about Setting Up Apps, Games and Software

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Millions of new phones, tablets, laptops and games consoles will be nestling under Christmas trees this year. However, even if parents and carers have gone to the trouble of setting up these new devices and enabling the safety features, there are still potential hazards in the apps, games and software that children will want to install and use. Knowing what to look for and discussing those risks with your child may help avoid any nasty surprises this Christmas. Here are our top tips for ensuring that unwrapping this year’s presents doesn’t unleash any unexpected dangers.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as disabling in-app purchasing, take note of age ratings and watching out for imitators. 

What Parents Need to Know about HiPal

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HiPal is a trending social media app which turns phones into walkie-talkies, allowing people to have voice conversations with friends or strangers. There are two account options: one for users aged under 12 and one for those aged 12 or above. The former has fewer features and limits interaction with strangers; enabling use of the walkie-talkie feature or photo sharing with friends and family only. The 12+ accounts offer more options, including adding strangers as friends, sharing photos and videos publicly, send private messages and holding voice chats with strangers as well as friends.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as contact with strangers, dangerous challenges and intrusive features. 

What Parents Need to Know about Social Media & Mental Health

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know about Social Media & Mental Health‘ below.

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An estimated one-third of children have a social media account, so it’s important that trusted adults know what content young people are consuming, what they’re posting and the interactions they’re having. On social media, it can be easy to go down a rabbit hole that isn’t beneficial to our wellbeing. As platforms grapple with managing ‘legal but harmful’ content, lives are being impacted – sometimes to tragic effect. We might be daunted by the scale of the tech giants and their content which enthrals young people, but we can still help children to be mindful of their mental wellness: recognising when something isn’t OK … and knowing what to do about content that upsets them.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as how to hide content, setting daily limits and discussing what children have seen online.

What Parents Need to Know about TikTok

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know about TikTok‘ below.

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TikTok is a free social media platform that lets users create, share and watch short videos ranging anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes in duration. The app gained notoriety for its viral dances, trends and celebrity cameos and can be a creative, fun platform for teens to enjoy. Now available in 75 languages, it has more than a billion active users worldwide (as of spring 2022) and is most popular with the under-16 age bracket. In fact, a 2022 Ofcom report found TikTok to be the most-used social media platform for posting content, particularly among young people aged 12 to 17.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as age-inappropriate content, dangerous challenges and contact with strangers.

What Parents Need to Know about Call of Duty Modern Warfare II

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The Call of Duty (CoD) series is a worldwide gaming phenomenon, with millions of copies sold every year. While 2021’s release, Vanguard, wasn’t quite as well received, this latest entry – Modern Warfare II – is proving to be hugely popular. A sequel to the recent Modern Warfare reboot (and not to be confused with the original Modern Warfare 2, from back in 2009), the game is an online shooter which features – unsurprisingly – extreme violence, rendered in realistic graphics. Amid the explosions and potential political nature of the plot, there’s much for parents to be aware of.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as offensive chat/messaging, in-game purchases and addiction. 

What Parents Need to Know about How to Combat Online Bullying

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know about How to Combat Online Bullying‘ below.

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Defined as “ongoing hurtful behaviour towards someone online”, cyber-bullying makes its victims feel upset, uncomfortable and unsafe. In the digital world, it has numerous forms – such as hurtful comments on a person’s posts or profile; deliberately leaving them out of group chats; sharing embarrassing images or videos of someone; or spreading gossip about them. Cyber-bullying can severely impact a young person’s mental health … so, in support of Anti-Bullying Week, we’ve provided a list of tips to help trusted adults know what to look for and how to respond to it. 

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as playing online games with your child, talking about your child’s online life and being prepared to listen without showing any judgement or criticism.