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Momo challenge

Recent media reports have suggested the social media trend, the ‘Momo’ challenge encourages participants to commit acts of self-harm. It is supposedly a form of cyberbullying prevalent on platforms such as WhatsApp and YouTube, where children get anonymous threatening messages.  Over the past few months, the game has been in the news frequently due to its alleged links to three cases of teenagers committing suicide in South America and Asia, such allegations have not been confirmed by the authorities. The charity Samaritans said it was ‘not aware of any verified evidence in this country or beyond’ linking the momo meme to self-harm.

It is important, however, that parents and carers take the opportunity to talk with their children about internet safety and have open conversations about what their children are accessing.

It is recommended that parents/carers:

  • Enable the privacy settings on all apps  and games young people are using
  • Disable live locations settings
  • Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Remind children not to get in touch with people they do not know on social media or gaming sites
  • Talk with children about the importance of not feeling pressurised at any time to respond to an online dare from either someone they know or a stranger and to tell a trusted adult about the request
  • Remind children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do

BBC news have released an article that suggests the online game is a hoax and details can be found here:

The PSHE Association have also made a really useful response outlining the challenge is a hoax:

 

Roblox online game warning

We have been made aware of a supposed warning from Kent Police about the dangers of the Roblox game. These warnings were not actually issued by Kent police but we are taking this opportunity to remind parents that Roblox, just as any other gaming website that allows players to interact, has its potential risks. At a recent CEOP event it was shared that there had been minor issues with inappropriate characters on the Roblox gaming site but that these had been resolved very quickly. Roblox is age rated for 8-18 year olds and there is a reporting facility should it be needed.

Our advice is not to stop children accessing age appropriate online games but to:

  • Ensure they know how to report an incident when on any game
  • Keep their information private at all times
  • Talk with a trusted adult immediately if they have any concerns
  • Check safety and privacy settings are limited to people they know in the real world

For more information please visit the childnet guidance for parents on Roblox at:

Keeping Children Safe in Education - update 2018

There have been some key eSafety guidance changes within this document. The most likely to affect many schools is that the overall responsibility for eSafety now lies with the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) or deputy DSL. This role can no longer be delegated to another member of staff, such as Computing/ICT Lead, unless that person has completed appropriate DSL training. Reallocation of this responsibility may be a temporary solution to this problem until training can be completed if this affects your school.

Amongst other important changes, eSafety is no longer an optional school policy. There must now be direct references to online safety either within the Child Protection/Safeguarding policy or as a separate document. This includes acceptable use agreements for staff and pupils.

The Hertfordshire online safety policy template can be found at the link below should you wish to adopt it either in full or in part.

Below is a link to an excellent analysis of the changes by Kent County Council. It highlights suggested actions in addition to key changes based on this new document. From there, the original document can also be found.

Safety message from Herts Police

An incident involving Hertfordshire school girls who filmed and broadcast a seemingly harmless video of themselves from their home address using an app on their mobile phone has highlighted some of the dangers of geo-tagged data. It is believed that unknown viewers of the video not only contacted the girls but also identified the house from where the broadcast was made and potentially followed them.

Police offer the following advice:

  1. Think before you broadcast. Remember that your broadcast could be recorded by someone and then potentially shared and uploaded anywhere online Ė think carefully about what you are sharing.
  2. Consider your privacy. Itís worth considering who you would like to share your broadcast with; you may wish to make your broadcast limited or private. We recommend that you donít share your location.
  3. Understand the risks involved. Geotagged broadcasts could potentially give someone intent on scaring or targeting you the opportunity to know your exact whereabouts, eg. which house you are in.
  4. Know how to disable your phone or camera's geotagging feature. Every smartphone has the geotagging feature automatically set to operate, so you need to put in the effort to prevent it from doing this. It's recommended that you disable the geotagging ability and enable it only when you make a conscious decision to use it; it's far better to opt in than to try to remember to opt out.
  5. Remember it is never too late to tell someone. If anything worries you, itís vital to tell a trusted adult or you can chat confidentially to ChildLine online or on 0800 1111. Remember you can report to the police via the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre:

Educate Against Hate

This new Government website gives parents, teachers and school leaders practical advice on protecting children from extremism and radicalisation.

Counter-extremism guidance for schools and childcare providers

 

Government briefing note for schools - released July 2015

How social media is used to encourage travel to Syria and Iraq.

 

eSafety Ofsted Update: A presentation by David Brown HMI, National Lead for Computing, given at the London Grid for Learning 2015 conference

Useful information from David Brown can be found throughout this presentation, but in particular slides 19-30 are focused on eSafety.

Student-Centered eSafety: Promoting Online Safety with Creative Apps

Chris Carter, Herts for Learning e-Developments Adviser, has just had a book published by Apple as part of his involvement in the Apple Distinguished Educator programme.  The book is available online via i-Pads at