I can’t believe we’re almost into February already! Safer Internet Day is coming up on Tuesday o7 February. What’re you doing at home to help your child stay safe?
Is your child a gamer?
Check out this guide to keep safe whilst using online software and games. from SWGfL. With advice on reporting and blocking, online socialisation and the considerations on online gaming, the pamphlet can be a useful basis for a conversation about staying safe online when gaming.
Is your child a fan of Fortnite?
Since its release 2017, Fortnite has had a mass appeal for children. This means children are exposed to multi-player chatting with strangers, and financial exploitation via the game’s spend-to-gain-advantage operating style – this allows children to use real world money to gain perks and costumes.
Fortnite has the potential to lead to criminal blackmailing and coercion of nude exchanges by online ‘friends’ posing as children. Internet Matters has published a guide to understanding the game and its terms.
Is your child connected to virtual reality?
Research has shown that two thirds of the UK public lack confidence that child safety is a priority in the metaverse, with 71% of adults expressing doubt in tech companies prioritising children’s safety. However, the study also revealed over a fifth of adults would buy their child a VR (virtual reality) headset if they could, despite these concerns.
To help you understand this new, fast changing issue, the NSPCC has published a guide to both the Metaverse and VR headsets.
Is your child happy and healthy online?
It’s become more and more common for people – including children – to talk to strangers online. A small amount of these relationships turn out malicious – we need to be aware of the dangers if they do.
Children and young people may find it difficult to understand when an online relationship turns out to be a bad one. The Information Commissioners Office, the UK’s information rights agency, has published guidance on what to look for when online relationships turn sour.
And finally, remember some advice from last week, too:
- check devices regularly alongside your child – doing this means that your child can moderate their own behaviour and have regular opportunities to talk about things that might be concerning them
- keep the devices downstairs – the more ‘public’ space means that children make the same good choices they would do in ‘in real life’ and have plenty of opportunities to talk about what they’re doing and seeing