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25-01-2018 Online Safety Newsletter

Whitehouse Online Safety Bulletin

Spring Term 2018

Welcome to the first edition of our new online safety bulletin. This document is designed to keep you informed of online safety events and initiatives at Whitehouse and to give you helpful information and advice about keeping your children safe when using internet enabled devices.

 

IN SCHOOL:

Logo Competition:

We were really pleased with the designs from children in Key Stage 2 who entered our logo competition. This is Miley Ferguson’s winning design.

 

 

Access in school:

In school, children have access to a variety of electronic and internet enabled devices. This is an amazing resource to support learning. Here is a list of devices currently used: iPads, Smartboards, digital cameras, desktop computers, laptops and Bee-Bots.

 

User Agreement:

Coming home in the next few weeks, will be our new Online Safety User Agreement. This will need to be signed by your child and yourselves to show that you agree with our school rules for using electronic equipment in school. Please read it carefully and return to your child’s class teacher. If children do not follow these rules or do not sign the agreement, their access to iPads and computers may be restricted.

 

TOAST SQUAD UPDATE:

The new Year 5 TOAST squad members have now been chosen. Well done to:

Rihanna, Cameron, Rhys R, Gracie, Dea, Lauren and Holly C. These children will be taking part in Online Safety training and activities and will be sharing their knowledge and advice with the rest of the school during assemblies.

 

AT HOME: Please take care when downloading apps, buying games and allowing your child access to social media platforms. Age restrictions are there for a reason!

 

Snapchat: AGE 13 Please be aware that snapchat has a location setting that displays a map of nearby friends, showing their exact latest location gathered using a smartphone's GPS sensor. Other users can search for your child and see photos and videos they have posted.

 

Instagram: AGE 13 We have been made aware of children registering for Instagram with user names which are sexualised or contain inappropriate language. We are also concerned about how children are advertising themselves through their description and pictures. Some children’s accounts advertise themselves as single or taken. This is a huge concern and is putting them at risk.

 

Roblox: ADVISED MINIMUM AGE OF 8!

This gaming app looks just like a Lego game. We have two main concerns:

· There is a messaging facility where youngsters can be contacted by strangers.

· There is no way to screen contacts and chat is enabled as a default setting.

There are over 30 million users and you have no way of knowing who your child is talking to.

 

Although it is advertised for 8—12 year olds, younger children are easily able to make accounts and there is no way to filter their access to games designed for much older children or adults including Grand Theft Auto, Halo and Call of Duty. Please be vigilant—we would advise against letting your children have access to this game. There is further guidance below on reporting and security settings:

https://en.help.roblox.com/hc/en-us/articles/203314270-Reporting-Abuse-and-Blocking-Chat-In-Game

 

YouTube: Age 13!

We are aware that some children in school have a YouTube account. Through this account, they may be watching inappropriate videos and/or posting inappropriate videos of themselves and others (who may not know they are appearing online). This puts children in a vulnerable position and at risk of abuse. Strangers can view and comment on videos without any filtering system.

 

Please check the age certification of each game your child plays. X-Box Live has a chat feature called ‘parties’. This chat forum enables children to speak through headsets whilst playing games. We have been concerned about incidents of inappropriate language, bullying and threatening behaviour/comments from both children and parents.

 

TOP TIP: Encourage your child to use their electronic devices in the same room as you. Try and be open with your child so that they come to you if something goes wrong. We do not want to make children feel that they can’t use the internet but we need to make them aware of the risks and how to use it as safely as possible.

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