Privacy is main online concern for primary school children

Parents are not talking to children about the right online safety issues


Parents may be missing out vital information when they talk to their children about staying safe online, the NSPCC warns.

The NSPCC asked more than 600 primary school children what information they needed to stay safe online. More than 80% said online privacy settings on mobile apps and games was a topic they thought their parents should cover in an online safety conversation. And just over half (54%) opted for location settings, which can prevent sex offenders tracking children.

However, although eight out of ten parents told the NSPCC in a YouGov poll that they knew what to say to their child to keep them safe online, only 28% had actually mentioned privacy settings to them and just 20% discussed location settings.

The charity is now urging parents to make sure their online knowledge is up to date by checking out its updated Net Aware guide, published this week.

Among twelve sites that have now been added to the guide are Tapatalk and Pheed, which many parents may not be familiar with, plus well-known games like Call of Duty that allows users to chat online.

The latest websites, apps and games featured in Net Aware were reviewed by a panel of parents and all were rated poorly in terms of how easy it was to change privacy settings, report concerns about abuse or bullying, and find safety advice.

The guide now covers a total of sixty social networking sites, apps and games popular with children and is free to access at www.net-aware.org.uk

Claire Lilley, NSPCC head of child safety online, said: “If parents aren’t talking to children about things like privacy settings on social networking sites it can leave them at risk of online grooming. We’ve seen horrendous cases where offenders take a scattergun approach, targeting hundreds of children at a time online, often posing as another young person.

“It’s important parents have the knowledge to talk in detail with children about safety settings. Minecraft is one game that is much safer for children once the privacy settings have been adjusted. Our updated Net Aware guide is packed with straightforward advice that will help parents stay up to date with their children’s digital lives.”

Following the launch of the NSPCC’s online safety campaign in January nearly 400,000 parents have spoken to their children about staying safe online. However, it seems that many parents have gaps in their online knowledge and don’t talk about the right issues with their children.

For example, Tinder, Facebook Messenger, Yik Yak and Snapchat were all rated as risky by children, with the main worry being talking to strangers. However, for the same sites the majority of parents did not recognise that the sites could enable adults to contact children. Parents tended to worry more about sexual or violent content or bad language.

The NSPCC is calling for all social networking sites, apps and games used by children to provide easy ways for children and parents to report abuse, attempts at grooming or concerns about content.

The charity also wants to see all online accounts for under-16s:

  • block messages from strangers,
  • prevent users making their location or contact details public,
  • set profiles as private by default on sign-up,
  • alert children to the risks if they choose make their profile public.

    If you would like to know about the online training course for parents available from E-safety Support, login or join free for a full preview. E-safety Support also provide a parent pack of useful information for schools to share with parents.

  • Written by E-safety Support on May 06, 2015 13:51

    ChildLine campaign launches to help build children’s resilience to porn

    Shocking figures show one in ten 12-13 year olds are worried they are addicted to porn

    The NSPCC’s ChildLine service has launched a campaign to raise awareness and provide advice to young people about the harmful implications of an over exposure to porn. The move follows the discovery that nearly one in ten 12-13 year olds are worried they are addicted to porn.

    A poll of nearly 700 12-13 year-olds in the UK also reveals that that one in five of those surveyed said they’d seen pornographic images that had shocked or upset them and 12 per cent admitted to making or having been part of a sexually explicit video.

    The figures form part of a UK-wide survey of 2,000 children and young people aged 11-17 which was conducted by One Poll in February 2015.

    The ChildLine FAPZ campaign (the Fight Against Porn Zombies) will use a series of animations looking at the implications of over exposure to porn on both boys and girls. The animations then link to a range of information and advice, to help young people understand the implications associated with replicating pornographic content in real life situations and to protect them from putting themselves in potentially risky situations. The campaign is designed for young people, by young people, who have been at the heart of the creative development throughout.

    Peter Liver, Director of ChildLine said: “Children of all ages today have easy access to a wide range of pornography and if we as a society shy away from talking about this issue, then we are failing the thousands of young people it is affecting.

    “We know from the young people who contact ChildLine, that viewing porn is a part of every-day life, and our poll shows that one in five 12-13 year-olds think that watching porn is normal behaviour. However, even more worryingly, they also tell ChildLine that watching porn is making them feel depressed, giving them body image issues, making them feel pressured to engage in sexual acts they’re not ready for and some even feel they are addicted to porn”

    “Recently, the government announced plans for children aged 11 upwards to be taught about rape and sexual consent as part of PSHE in schools. This would include discussion around what they have learnt from watching pornography.”

    “Our campaign clearly compliments this proposal. Across society, we need to remove the embarrassment and shame that exists around talking about porn – which is why we are launching this activity and helping young people to make more informed choices.”

    Dame Esther Rantzen, the Founder of ChildLine said: “It is shocking that children as young as 11 are contacting ChildLine with concerns about porn. Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. We know they are frequently stumbling across porn, often unintentionally, and they are telling us very clearly that this is having a damaging and upsetting effect on them. Girls in particular have said they feel like they have to look and behave like porn stars to be liked by boys.

    “We absolutely have to talk to young people about sex, love, respect and consent as soon as we feel they are ready, to ensure that they gain a proper perspective between real life relationships and the fantasy world of porn.

    “At ChildLine, we always strive to understand the emerging issues children are facing which is why we have launched this new campaign. We consulted with young people throughout the creative development, enabling us to identify language that will engage them and create real impact.

    “I would encourage any young person who has a question or concern to visit our new campaign at www.childline.org.uk/fapz or to contact ChildLine on 0800 1111 or online www.childline.org.uk – our counsellors are here 24/7 to offer free, confidential support and advice.”

    One young girl aged between 12-15 years-old who contacted ChildLine, said “I’ve been feeling really insecure about my body since seeing a porn film because I know I'll never be as attractive as the women in them. It upsets me because I think I’m going to end up alone - no one will ever fancy the way I look if I’m compared to them. I wish I’d never watched the film because all it’s done is make me feel rubbish and I didn't even enjoy it.”

    If you are concerned about a child then please encourage them to visit ChildLine’s F.A.P.Z. campaign at www.childline.org.uk/fapz or talk to ChildLine anonymously on 0800 1111 or online www.childline.org.uk. If you’re an adult worried about a child in relation to issues around porn you can visit the NSPCC website for advice and support.

    Written by E-safety Support on April 01, 2015 14:05

    Keeping children safe online is the biggest child protection challenge of this generation

    Parents’ concerns about social networking sites popular with children were revealed recently, as the NSPCC launched its Share Aware campaign to get families talking about socialising safely online.

    An NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet reviewed 48 of these sites and said all those aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to. On more than 40 per cent of the sites, the panel struggled to locate privacy, reporting and safety information.

    At least three quarters of parents surveyed by the NSPCC found sexual, violent, or other inappropriate content on Sickipedia, Omegle, Deviant Art, and F my Life within half an hour of logging into the sites.

    Those aimed at younger children, like Club Penguin, Moshi Monsters, Popjam and Bearville, fared better and parents did not find any unsuitable content on them.

    The NSPCC also asked just under 2,000 children and young people which social networking sites they used. Talking to strangers or sexual content were the main concerns mentioned by children. But they also thought the minimum age limit for signing up to many sites should be higher, despite saying they’d used the sites when they were underage.

    The NSPCC has used the reviews to create a new online guide to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children.

    Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, said: “Children are taught from an early age that it is good to share but doing so online can be very dangerous. We must all be Share Aware. This Christmas many children will have been given a smart phone, a tablet computer, or a games console. So it’s the perfect opportunity for parents to have that important conversation with their children about who they are talking to and what they share when they socialise online.

    “We know that children do take risks online, sometimes without realising it. And we know some parents feel confused by the internet – out of their depth, and out of control. Our Share Aware campaign gives parents straightforward, no-nonsense advice that will help them to untangle the web and feel confident talking to their children about online safety.

    “Keeping children safe online is the biggest child protection challenge of this generation. Parents have a vital role to play but we want social networking sites to respond to parental concerns about their children’s safety and privacy. The NSPCC will continue to challenge and work with internet companies and the Government to make the internet a safer place for children.”

    The NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign is aimed at parents of 8 to 12-year-old children and also features two animations to be shown on prime time TV and digital spaces. I Saw Your Willy and Lucy And The Boy are engaging films with a serious message that follow the stories of two children who share too much about themselves online. Both films contain the simple message that although children are taught that it’s good to share, this is not always the case online.

    People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign at www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware and join the debate on social media by following #ShareAware.

    Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email help@nspcc.org.uk

    Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk

    Written by E-safety Support on January 20, 2015 11:06


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