Online Safety

'Snap Maps' and Snap Chat Safety


Parenting in a digital age: Privacy and parents - the digital disconnect


NSPCC NetAware site - keep parents informed of social networking sites that their children may be using.


Get clued up about the latest teen social media craze

Even if you’ve not heard of the new phone photo and video app phenomenon Snapchat, chances are your teenage kids are already using it.
What is Snapchat?
It’s a free phone app that enables you to send a real-time photo or short video with text added, which then instantly self-destructs.
The heaviest users are aged 13 to 23, but there is also growing usage among the over 40s.
Invented by a Stamford University student and launched in September 2011, Snapchat has quickly taken off. By June this year it was announced that 200 million photos were being shared on Snapchat daily.
Why you need to know about it?
While Snapchat is good fun and a simple way to stay in touch – there are also some important ground rules to ensure teenagers use it safely.
Claire Lilley, safer technology lead with the NSPCC, says: “While we wouldn’t comment on an individual phone app, the general rule for parents is that they should be familiar with the apps and messaging systems their kids are using so they are aware of how they can be used.
“No phone app is dangerous in itself – but you have to teach your teen the ground rules of how to use it safely and appropriately,” she adds. “We would advise young people not to send any images that could be used by others to potentially humiliate them.”
Who is Snapchat aimed at?
Snapchat states clearly in their terms of service that kids aged 13 to 17 should have the permission of a parent to download the Snapchat App.
Snapchat say it is not intended for use by the under-13s and children are asked for their age when they apply for a download.
If you find out your child is using Snapchat without your permission you can inform Snapchat and they will close down their account.
There is another app for the under-13s launched in June this year called SnapchatKidz, which has the same features as Snapchat, but crucially does not allow them to share pictures or images with others.
How is Snapchat being used by teens?
For teens Snapchat appears to have overtaken texting and other instant messaging apps as a free way of keeping in touch with their mates. Teens sometimes send dozens of messages a day to their friends – many of them self portraits or ‘selfies’ or humorous videos – and these are mostly harmless.
Why has Snapchat become controversial?


There have been some instances of Snapchat being used to send so-called ‘sexting’ messages – that’s sexually suggestive naked pictures or videos.
The NSPCC warns that ‘sexting’ (not on Snapchat specifically but sending sexually explicit messages by any social media channel, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, text or email) can leave teenagers open to cyber-bullying and put them at risk of being groomed by sexual predators
Teenage girls may feel pressurised by boys to send these sorts of images.
However uncomfortable the conversation you must make clear the dangers to your teenager.

The issue of 'sexting' is becoming of increasing concern to parents. The BBC have put an open letter from parents to teenagers about the issue on their website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25000800


Fast-fingered recipients can save a screenshot of images sent via Snapchat although there is a mechanism that alerts the sender if someone does this.
Apps that can retrieve images:
There are now other ways of saving the images without the sender’s knowledge including a new app called SnapSave created for this purpose.
Filming images with another phone:
Another way images may be saved is by someone taking a picture or video of the image with another phone.
Clearly then these pictures are not as temporary as lots of teenagers think they are. They may come back to haunt you if pictures are saved or retrieved and then circulated on the internet or via messaging groups.

How can you safeguard your children?

If your teenager (aged over 13) does download the Snapchat app with your consent, there are some useful safety pointers included in the ‘Information for parents’ section that are worth you both reading.
Make sure your teen:
Gets the right settings
Ask them to change the privacy settings on their phone so they can only receive pictures or videos from their friends.
Has the dangers spelt out
Explain to them that under no circumstances is it okay to create, send, receive or save a sexually explicit message of a minor. Snapchat says parents are, “strongly encouraged to educate their children on this subject”.
Knows what is appropriate
Ask them whether they would be comfortable if their grandmother saw the picture or video or if it was circulated around school or on the internet.


E-Safety - Internet Safety Tips

An excellent resource for parents about e-safety has been produced by Vodaphone:
The e-zine can be found by following this link: www.vodaphone.com/parents

CEOP Warns of Webcam Abuse

As you may have seen in the media, CEOP today warned of a concerning rise in the use of webcam by sex offenders to blackmail children and young people online.
We're asking schools and youth organisations to run assemblies to raise awareness amongst young people of this type of crime. There's a full pack of resources available to download now.
We want all young people to know that if they are being threatened online, if they've shared something they regret, it's never too late to get help.
Young people might feel like there is no way out but they can always report to CEOP online at www.thinkuknow.co.uk or visiting the CEOP Safety Centre.
The NSPCC have set up a dedicated helpline for young people suffering this type of crime, which will be open 24/7 throughout September and October 2013. Please publicise this number with the children and young people you work with:
NSPCC helpline: 0800 328 0904
Young people can also call Childline on 0800 1111


Register with the ThinkUknow Website

Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used.
  • Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends-personal information includes their messenger id, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends-if your child publishes a picture or video online-anyone can change it or share it.
  • If your child receives spam / junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
  • It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain-it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.
  • Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
  • Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Teach young people how to block someone online and report them if they feel uncomfortable.
  • There are people who can help. Report online child abuse, or for more advice and support.