What Parents Need to Know about Cross-Platform Sharing of Inappropriate Content

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know about Cross-Platform Sharing of Inappropriate Content‘ below.

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Creepy characters like Slender Man or Huggy Wuggy. Dangerous online challenges. Songs or videos that aren’t suitable for youngsters. When things like these begin trending online, it can be difficult to prevent children accidently stumbling across them – especially if they use a range of platforms, like online games, social media, streaming sites or messaging apps. A trend can originate in one online space and rapidly spread to other platforms or via chat apps. The frightening Huggy Wuggy character, for instance, first emerged as part of a game on Steam; now there are parody songs on TikTok, videos on YouTube and more than 45,000 results for #huggywuggy on Instagram.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as accidental exposure, inappropriate language and unsuitable videos.

What Parents Need to Know about Discord

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Discord is a free app which allows users to communicate in real time via text, video or voice chat. Available on desktop and mobile devices, it was originally designed to help gamers cooperate – but has evolved into a more general networking platform for a range of online communities, discussing topics like TV series, music, Web3 and more. Discord is organised around closed groups, referred to as ‘servers’. To join a server, users must be invited or provided with a unique link. It’s a space for users to interact with friends, meet others with shared interests and collaborate in private online — but it’s also a place where young people can be exposed to risks if the right precautions aren’t taken.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as cyberbullying, predators and inappropriate content.

What Parents Need to Know about Toddlers & Screen Time

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The toddler years are full of excitement, exploration and energy. It’s a critical time in children’s development, when brain connections are rapidly forming. Youngsters often begin to discover devices around this age, as they learn to communicate with friends, play games and watch videos (Ofcom recently found, for example, that one in five 3–4-year-olds in the UK uses social media). These activities can make a child happy and relaxed but have a damaging impact if overused. Setting screen time limits for toddlers can be a challenge, so we’ve pulled together some suggestions for making sure your little one is interacting with the online world in a safe, healthy way.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as setting parental controls, removing devices at certain times and using screentime as a reward.

Spotting Ads on Social Media

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘Spotting Ads on Social Media‘ below.

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Can young people always recognise when what they’re seeing on their social media feed is an advert? The evidence suggests there’s a good chance they might not. What often complicates matters is that many ads are virtually indistinguishable from a regular social media post. They’re frequently designed to be funny, exciting or cool, which distracts younger users away from the reality that they’re being sold something. Our #WakeUpWednesday guides has some top ideas for helping youngsters to spot ads like a pro!

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as paying attention to the account name, studying the hashtags for clues and being savvy with high numbers of likes and shares.

What Parents Need to Know about Group Chats

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

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Occurring through messaging apps, on social media and in online games, group chats are among the most popular ways that young people engage with their peers online. Involving, by definition, three or more individuals, these groups allow users to send messages, images and videos to everyone in one place. While they are useful for helping friends, people with shared interests or members of a club to communicate and coordinate activities, they can also leave young people feeling excluded and bullied – as well as providing opportunities for inappropriate content to be shared and viewed.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as bullying, inappropriate content and unknown members.

What Parents Need to Know about YouTube Kids

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

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YouTube Kids is a child-friendly version of YouTube, offering a colourful and easy-to-navigate environment which is suitable for young children. The app is easily accessible and can be downloaded for phones and tablets without needing the YouTube app to be on the device already. Although YouTube Kids is obviously intended to be (and mainly succeeds in being) an extremely child-friendly platform, it has still raised concerns over its advertising policy as well as inappropriate content seeping through the curation process.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as disabling the search option, restricting viewing time and monitoring the watch history.

What Parents Need to Know about Toddlers & Screen Time

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know about Toddlers & Screen Time‘ below.

Download: What Parents Need to Know about Toddlers & Screen Time [PDF]

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The toddler years are full of excitement, exploration and energy. It’s a critical time in children’s development, when brain connections are rapidly forming. Youngsters often begin to discover devices around this age, as they learn to communicate with friends, play games and watch videos (Ofcom recently found, for example, that one in five 3–4-year-olds in the UK uses social media). These activities can make a child happy and relaxed but have a damaging impact if overused. Setting screen time limits for toddlers can be a challenge, so we’ve pulled together some suggestions for making sure your little one is interacting with the online world in a safe, healthy way.

In the guide, you’ll find tips such as setting parental controls, removing devices at certain times and using screentime as a reward.

What Parents Need to Know About Phone Scams

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know About Phone Scams‘ below.

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What are Phone Scams?

In a three-month period during 2021, no fewer than 45 million people in the UK experienced a suspicious attempt at being contacted via their mobile. Phone scams are a common form of cyber-attack where fraudsters engage directly with their intended victim through their smartphone. As our phones carry so many sensitive (and therefore potentially valuable) details about us, it’s vital that trusted adults are alert to the tactics that scammers use to get access to user accounts, personal data and private information for financial gain.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as sim hacking, smishing and impersonation.

What Parents Need to Know About Online Grooming

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

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What is 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.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as strangers online, closed messaging and emotional attachments.

What Parents Need to Know About PlayStation 4

Please find the National Online Safety guide for ‘What Parents Need to Know About PlayStation 4‘ below.

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What is 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.

In the guide, you’ll find tips on a number of potential risks such as screen addiction, online bullying and adult content.