What Parents and Educators Need to Know about Clickbait

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While scrolling online, you’ll almost inevitably have come across posts or links with headlines like “You Won’t Believe These 10 Crazy Facts about …”. Such lurid language – and the often-dubious nature of the content it promotes – has become something of a running joke on the internet. Yet while these articles are often laughed at by communities online, they can have an insidious side.

Clickbait, as it’s known, can frequently function as part of a trap: intended to draw users in for the sake of advertising revenue or, in worse cases, masking an attempting to collect their personal information. This #WakeUpWednesday guide explores the various risks of clickbait and offers some top tips for evading the pitfalls of this controversial marketing technique.

What Parents Need to Know About Jeffy

Safeguarding experts have received reports about a YouTube cartoon series called Jeffy. At first glance, the puppet-style cartoon could be mistaken for child-appropriate content. However, Jeffy is part of a wider trend of animated videos that may look child-friendly but content-wise, they’re anything but.

Learn more about Jeffy here: https://oursaferschools.co.uk/youtube-cartoon-jeffy/

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What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Monkey

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With Omegle finally shutting down in late 2023, the top spot among video chat services is up for grabs – and Monkey has its eyes set on the crown. Randomly matching its users for 15-second conversations, the platform’s developers claim to have created a dynamic online space for people to make new connections and, potentially, even some new friends.

Despite these innocuous-sounding intentions, however, Monkey has been criticised for moderation which may not be comprehensive enough to defend against the obvious dangers that unregulated, random video calls pose to the younger element of the site’s userbase. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide tells trusted adults what they need to know about Monkey.

New Computing Parent Portal

As part of our partnership with MGL World, we have been given access to a Computing parent portal. Through this parent portal, you are able to gain advice and assistance in regards to any computing matters which may affect your child or family. There are parent guides available for many apps. These explain what the app is, who its targeted audience is and any notes of caution for users and parents/carers. There is also the option to request an app review for any apps which your child is interested in, where a review is not currently available. There is also advice about how parental controls can be set up on devices and how this can be used to promote safe boundaries online for children. The parent portal does not require a login and can be accessed at https://mglworld.onlinesafetyhub.uk/parent/home

Through our link with MGL, we also have access to a parent app called Qustodio. Qustodio is a free app which helps to keep your child safe online, ensuring their digital activity is balanced and risk free. In addition, it helps parents supervise their way through filtering websites, setting time limits, blocking apps, getting reports and more. It also enables children to build a healthy relationship with technology. To access Qustodio, you will be required to sign up for a free account, which can be done through the link above and navigating to the main menu and the parent app tab.

Qustodio Family gives you everything you need to protect your children on their personal devices so they can flourish with technology, whether they’re at home, at school, or anywhere else.

  • Filter and block feature for content and apps
  • Visibility on browsing history, social media, and screen time
  • Time limits and screen-free schedules
  • Location tracking and panic button feature
  • Calls & messages tracking to monitor suspicious activity
  • Tailored reports and alerts for inappropriate content

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about X

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The social media network formerly known as Twitter has undergone numerous alterations since its change of ownership and rebranding as X – and many of these recent developments have proved controversial. With any user now simply able to pay a fee for account verification, for example, the once-reliable ‘blue tick’ system has become largely meaningless.

It’s just one of several changes that have set the social media giant on what many consider a concerning path in online safety terms. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide provides a run-down of the most significant tweaks made to X; their potential safeguarding implications; and how to help ensure young people minimise the risks while they continue to use the service.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Microtransactions

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Microtransactions figure in the business model of many game and app developers, allowing them to bring in ongoing revenue as users continue to pay for extra features and content; even software that’s initially free to download can be monetised in this way. It’s a system which has featured in many of younger gamers’ perennial favourite franchises, from Fortnite to FIFA.

As well as encouraging regular spending, however, microtransactions – especially the increasingly common use of loot boxes – have also been scrutinised for what many argue is a resemblance to gambling, with the potential to foster addictive behaviours. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide tells parents and carers what they need to know about microtransactions.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Smart TVs

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Smart TVs have become more affordable in recent years, making them readily available to most consumers. These more advanced systems offer numerous features beyond those of a normal television set – chiefly, the ability to access the internet and interface with popular streaming services without the need for a set-top box or other intermediary device.

This increased functionality, however, also brings additional threats to privacy, security and more – as you’d perhaps expect from any device capable of going online. As TV is such a cornerstone of our home lives, these dangers can be uniquely difficult to manage. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide breaks down the major risks, with tips on helping children to enjoy TV … stress free.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Disney+

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In 2019, media titan Disney launched its own streaming platform, intending to challenge the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime. Giving (often exclusive) access to shows and movies – such as the legendary studio’s animated classics and the revered Star Wars back catalogue – Disney+ has been a colossal success, proving popular with viewers of all ages. 

Despite Disney’s reputation for wholesome, child-friendly content, however, there’s far more material available on their platform – some of which is aimed exclusively at adults. This could easily fly under the radar, given the company’s general image. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide has useful tips to help your family sit back, relax and enjoy what Disney+ has to offer.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Five Nights at Freddy’s

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You might know Five Nights at Freddy’s by reputation, even if your child has never actually played the game. Via playground rumours and circulated footage on platforms like YouTube, this 12-rated survival horror series (so far comprising nine games, several spin-off novels and a movie adaptation) has become possessed of a certain cult status among far younger players.

Whether the initial interest is sparked by peer pressure or morbid curiosity, this spooky saga of things that go bump in the night seems to resonate with many pre-teen gamers. However, as our #WakeUpWednesday guide explains, the sinister characters, unrelenting sense of tension and some disturbing themes are all potential hazards that parents and carers should be aware of.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about EA Sports FC

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For 20 years, FIFA dominated the football video gaming arena, attracting legions of devoted fans and scooping up accolades like a digital Real Madrid. After parting ways with the sport’s governing body, however, renowned developers Electronic Arts (EA) have now launched their own individual bid for the title. It’s called EA Sports FC 24, and its effectively FIFA 2.0.

Familiar action delivered by the same team, of course, points to a comparable level of popularity – especially among those young gamers raised on the FIFA franchise. As our #WakeUpWednesday guide highlights, however, EA Sports FC 24 also carries many similar risks to its predecessor, including addictive gameplay, abusive voice chats and expensive in-game purchases.