Video guide to - Source: Safer Schools & Young People Partnership Newsletter June 2017
Channel 4 News have reported on children as young as nine being groomed and bombarded with sexually explicated messages on the popular social media app
But what exactly is the app and what risks does it pose to young people who use it? In this Video Guide to you will learn about what the app does, how it leaves young people vulnerable to being groomed and how you can better protect children who use this app.   Watch Now!
New Features and Dangers in Snapchat app - Source: Safer Schools & Young People Partnership Newsletter June 2017

Snapchat have introduced a new feature, the ‘Snap Map’.

This location based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends. 

How to access Snap Maps

To access the Snap Map in the latest update of the Snapchat app, users need to go to their camera screen within Snapchat and zoom out using two fingers. This will then launch the Snap Maps screen and will allow a user to see their friend’s locations.

Choose who can see your location

It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.

Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat - giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map - we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.

There are three settings for sharing your location on the map, these are; Ghost mode, My Friends, and Select Friends. But what do these settings mean?

Ghost Mode
Ghost Mode means that you are the only person who can see your location on the map.
Within Ghost Mode you can still see the locations of your friends but they will be unable to see you. This setting will ensure that you have complete control over who knows your location.

My Friends
My Friends means that all of your contacts on Snapchat can see your location. If turning on this setting then it would be important for users to review their Snapchat contacts and also make sure that they never add someone they don’t know in person onto Snapchat.

Select Friends
This setting allows users to look through their friend list and then decide which of their friends they want to be able to view their location. This setting gives users the opportunity to control who can view their location.

Changing settings

When first opening the Snap Map users get to make a decision of who they want to be able to view their location. Once these settings are in place they can always be changed in Snapchat’s settings. This can be done in two ways:

In the Snapchat settings

In the Snapchat screen click on the Settings (cog) icon> click on ‘see my location’ > Choose the setting which suits you

On the Snap Map

Top tips

Sharing location can be a risky thing to do. Our tips for location sharing are:

  • Only share your location with people you know in person. Never share your location with strangers.
  • Don’t add contacts to Snapchat if you don’t know them in person.
  • Regularly review your settings and take an active decision about whether you want people to know your location. Remember you can switch this off at any time. Think about where you’re sharing your location. Location services such as Snap Maps can lead people to your house. Think about what times you’re on the app and whether these are locations you want to share – if not, then turn this off within your settings.


Please visit the below for further advice and guidance:

UK Safer Internet Centre :

On-Line Safety Message about Instagram - Source: Safer Schools & Young People Partnership Newsletter June 2017

Cheshire police are investigating an INSTAGRAM account named ‘funonly94’ following multiple reports in the past 2 weeks from concerned parents of year 7 pupils at a local high School,  Northwich   The images that this account is sending and the content being discussed is highly inappropriate.   At this time it is not believed that the holder of the  Account is local to Northwich and the concern is raised due to the ‘Suggestions’ being made by this male.

Parents are asked to speak to Children about their Instagram Usage and remind them of principles of staying safe online.  If the account is found on their child’s Instagram Account, it is suggested that it is Blocked and Reported to Instagram.   Parents of Year 7 Students are reminded that the ‘Age restriction’ for an Instagram account is 13 Years.   If any further concerns are raised then please contact DC 4107 Walton @ Northwich CID on 101

Ways to keep your toddler safe when using the Internet - Source: Safeguarding Children e-Academy

As our society becomes more immersed in technology, children and toddlers are growing up tech-savvy with access to the internet. But how can we protect them from harmful information?

In today’s society, we are immersed in technology. We can’t escape it. Digital technology is everywhere and has become an integral part of our everyday lives. As adults, we use it to help us in the workplace so that we can become better, faster and more efficient. Socially, all ages (although predominantly younger generations) use the internet to connect with friends and family all over the world via social media.

For children and toddlers, the internet provides a virtual playground for them to learn, connect, play and create. For the first time ever, children are being brought up around technology and are becoming more digitally advanced than their parents and grandparents. However, the internet is huge, and growing at a speed we would have never previously imagined. Every second, we are creating more information and content that is easily accessible to any user.

But how can you ensure that our children and toddlers are protected from accessing harmful or indecent content? Here we take a look.

1. Set-up parental controls

One of the first steps to ensuring your child is safe online is to set up parental controls so that upsetting or harmful content is blocked from view. Parents will be able to easilyy control in-app purchases and manage how long their child spends online.

It’s important to remember that the words and terms your child or toddler may search will often be done innocently. However, even the most innocent searchers can render explicit results. Parental controls are one of the best ways to prevent this by allowing you to plan the time of day your young one goes online and how long for, stop them from downloading inappropriate apps, and manage the content different members of the family can see.

2. Talk to your child about staying safe online

Another way to keep your child protected when using the internet,internet is to speak to them regularly and openly about the dangers of using the internet. Some families will find it helpful to have an open discussion about this and agree on what is appropriate. Alternatively, if parental controls have flagged something that may be of concern, you may need a more specific conversation about the particular website or app that your child wants access to.

It’s important that this is a two-way conversation and parents should ask their children what is and isn’t appropriate so that they have insight into their thought-process.

3. Encourage them to ask questions

Instead of feeling as though the internet is the only way to find the answer to any questions, children should feel as though they can approach their parents to gain a better understanding. Parents can encourage this by sitting down with their children regularly and asking them if they have any questions, or telling them to come to them if they are unsure of a word or term.

In addition to this, parents can ask children if there is anything they have seen online that has made them feel uncomfortable or confused. You can also teach your child how to report or block information on the sites and apps they use, encouraging them to do so if they see anything upsetting.

4. Discuss sharing personal information

Sharing personal information on the internet could be harmful as location and birth dates could help strangers identify where your child is at a specific time. This is why it is crucial for parents to talk to their children about personal information such as their email address, their full names, phone number, address and school name.

Use of images should also be discussed so that your child understands that some photographs could give people the wrong impression. If a website or someone online requests information from your child, you should encourage them to speak to you first.

Staying Safe with Snapchat
We've added a document intended for teachers to use with their children, but that is actually quite useful for parents too, outlining how Snapchat works and some of the dangers that children may not first appreciate.  The most important thing to remember about Snapchat for primary school aged pupils is that children must be at least 13 before they can use it.  For more information, click here.
O2 and NSPCC ShareAware Quiz
To children, online life is real life. O2 and NSPCC have recently partnered to provide support for everyone, whether an O2 customer or not, in order to keep our children safe online.
Why not put your knowledge to the test – you might be surprised by what you discover.
Roblox gaming site
In Childnet education sessions, young people and parents often mention Roblox, the popular gaming site. 
Young people regularly tell us how much they enjoy the different games and levels within it.
This blog explains a bit about Roblox, what to be aware of as a parent and offers our top tips on how to ensure your child stays safe.
Have you tried this brilliant website which works like TripAdvisor for apps and games for young people with suitability reviews.  Search for the app, game or the new social media trend and get information on suitability, including Children's Views, Parents' Views, Reporting, Privacy Settings and Safety.  
Using #hashtags
It's very common thing for young people to use hashtags as they write on social media - you can even buy hashtag shaped food now!  But did you know that whenever you something on any it becomes public, regardless of your privacy settings?  This means that anyone posting #lol when they're admitting to a friend about a mistake they've made is sharing it with the world.

Young people’s experiences of sexting

The Evidence Group of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety has published research findings from the EU funded SPIRTO project looking at the risks related to young people generating and sharing sexual content (sexting) in the UK, Germany and Sweden. Analysis of the Child Exploitation Image Database found: 687 cases of UK children identified through police investigation and submitted to Interpol between 2006 and 2015; 44.3% of these images were self-taken, of which 34.4% were generated in the context of a coercive relationship. Interviews with 51 young people aged 12-25 years who had sent or posted self-produced nude or nearly nude pictures or films via a mobile or the internet found that the main motivating factors for sexting were: fun, flirting and meeting new people; exploring sexuality; seeking affirmation; social acceptance; part of a romantic or sexual relationship; and being asked or coerced.

Source: UK Safer Internet Centre  Date: 11 May 2017

Further information: Self-produced images – risk taking online (PDF)   SPIRTO

Share aware campaign

The NSPCC has launched a new video ‘Be Share Aware - safety advice from a 10 year old’ to raise awareness and give parents and carers the confidence and skills to talk to their child about staying safe online.

Source: NSPCC  Date: 16 May 2017

New App To Be Aware Of

Through the E-Safety Officers programme it has been brought to our attention that the App called "Episode" is one to be aware off.    It is apparently a little like the sims but more sexually explicit.

The below is a copy  of the review by the website called Common sense media about the App

Parents need to know that Episode -- Choose Your Story is a collection of interactive stories written either by the editorial team or by users themselves. Before beginning, users must attest to being 13 years of age or older. Most, if not all, stories either contain references to or are entirely based on dating, romance, and/or sexual behavior and include themes such as underage drinking, rampant materialism, obsession with looks and clothing, lots of sexual innuendo, and plenty of stereotypes (flirty girls, "nerdy Asians," and so on). To advance the story in the way you want, you will need gems, so players are frequently encouraged to purchase gems or tickets, which help them influence the story's direction or continue reading the story without the three-hour delay, respectively. Users can sign up through a Google account to create their own stories and participate in extensive forum discussions, and they can share pictures from the story through their social media accounts or their device's sharing options. The developer's privacy policy and terms of use go into great detail about how personal information is collected and shared.

Staying Safe online

We are highly committed to keeping everyone at St Thomas' School safe, including when using a computer.  The following are our Internet Safety Rules.  These are shared with the children, and are displayed everywhere that the children have access to the Internet.  Understanding these rules forms a key part of our PSHCE (Personal, Social, Health & Citizenship Education) curriculum.

Each year, the children focus on eSafety as part of the worldwide Safer Internet Day campaign.  

Further resources:



Minimum ages for social media Do you know the recommended ages for Kik, Snapchat and ooVoo?  The NSPCC Survey - Our survey revealed that more than half of parents are unaware of social media age minimums and 1 in 5 parents think that there are no age requirements at all.

Visit Net Aware


Learn more about video chat and video sharing sites

Video is a great way to stay in contact with family, talk to multiple friends at once or just get creative. Sites and apps like Skype, Omegle and allow children to do just that. Using a webcam, tablet or smartphone, users can share videos and have live, face-to-face conversations with other people online. But there are risks too, including talking to strangers.

Find out more

Is your child watching fake cartoons? (27/03/2017)

Trending found a number of YouTube channels have fake versions of popular cartoons, often with scenes unsuitable for young children.

Full story: BBC

Childline launches counselling app

Childline has launched a new app providing counselling to young people in the UK and Channel Islands through their smartphone. The app, named ‘For Me’ and invented by four teenagers, allows users to interact with all Childline’s online services including: 1-2-1 chat with a counsellor; the 'Ask Sam’ problem pages; and entrance to their private 'locker’, an area where they have their own daily mood tracker and can write down personal thoughts.   Source: NSPCC  Date: 16 March 2017

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