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Online Safety

Top Tips

The Children’s Code came into force on 2nd September 2021. This is another step towards the Online Harms Bill. It has led to a number of changes to social media apps which now have to ensure that companies that target children must address privacy, inappropriate advertising and tactics to keep children online for long periods of time, such as auto-playing another video on a website after one has finished. The following changes have been made:

• Instagram – children must be 13 to use Instagram.  It is now preventing adults messaging children who do not follow them, defaulting all child accounts to private and requiring users to enter their date of birth to log in. A new feature called ‘Limits’ automatically hides comments from strangers. There is also a feature called ‘Hidden words’ which filters offensive content found in direct messages. Both of these need to be activated manually so if you older children have accounts please do set up these new features to keep them safe.

• TikTok – Again children should be 13 to use TikTok.  It has a new feature which ensures that any user under 16 automatically has a private account to keep them safe. TikTok will also stop sending notifications after 21:00 to 13- to 15-year-olds and 22:00 to 16- and 17-year-olds.

We know from talking to our older children, especially in Key Stage 2, that lots of them do have access to these social media platforms through the accounts of older siblings or parents so please so configure these settings to keep them safe.

Parental Guides of the Month

This month we have a link to some guides from the National Online Safety agency about setting parental controls on your apple and android phones to help keep your children safe if they are using your phone when out and about.

We hope you find them helpful.

Report Harmful Content

Useful Websites

The following websites contain some useful information about keeping your children safe online.

Support for children

Childline for free and confidential advice.

UK Safer Internet Centre to report and remove harmful online content.

CEOP for advice on making a report about online abuse.

Parental support

Childnet offers a toolkit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support.

Commonsensemedia provide independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media for children and their parents.

Government advice about protecting children from specific online harms such as child sexual abuse, sexting, and cyberbullying.

Government advice about security and privacy settings, blocking unsuitable content, and parental controls.

Internet Matters provide age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world.

Let’s Talk About It provides advice for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation.

London Grid for Learning provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including tips to keep primary aged children safe online.

Stopitnow resource from The Lucy Faithfull Foundation can be used by parents and carers who are concerned about someone’s behaviour, including children who may be displaying concerning sexual behaviour (not just about online).

National Crime Agency/CEOP Thinkuknow provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online.

Net-aware provides support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, including a guide to social networks, apps and games.

Parentzone provides help for parents and carers on how to keep their children safe online.

Parent info from Parentzone and the National Crime Agency provides support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations.

UK Safer Internet Centre provide tips, advice, guides and other resources to help keep children safe online.

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