Category: Online Safety

Protecting Children’s Privacy – A Guide for Parents, Carers and Educators

ComparitechprivacyProtecting Children’s Privacy – A Guide for Parents, Carers and Educators – a post by Paul Bischoff on the Comparitech site which sets out the concerns expressed by many parents and carers about the safety of their children online, and provides guidance, tips and advice about what parents can carers can do, including the nature of conversations with their children and practical steps which children and their parents and carers can take to adjust privacy settings in commonly used social media tools such as Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter. It also describes the steps to take on settings in mobile devices, as well as Internet browsers, and more, all designed to help children and their parents and carers be more in control of the information they share.

Competition to Create Game/App or Animation/Video to deliver e-safety message and promote positive uses of digital technology

esafetycomp2016logoIt’s competition time! The 2016 Central E-Safety competition for children & young people in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannan Council areas is to Create a Game/App or an Animation/Video to help deliver a strong e-safety message and promote positive uses of digital technology. And there are some neat prizes for winners! Prizes include tablet devices, lock-and-play gaming sessions, online subscriptions, t-shirts, cinema tickets and more!

Help celebrate great uses of the Internet and mobile technology, and promote tips for keeping safe online and in using mobile devices by creating an app/game or animation/video to help children and young people better understand about the positives of sharing online but also the dangers of inappropriate sharing, as well as how to avoid making hurtful comments online.

Who can enter?

Children and young people who live in the Forth Valley area or who attend schools within the Forth Valley E-safety partnership area (Clackmannan Council, Falkirk Council and Stirling Council areas) in the following categories:

Entry categories

Age 8-11

Age 12-15

Age 16-18

Entries can be from individuals or groups of children and young people – in the event of the group being of different ages the entry must be in the category for the eldest member of the group.

How to enter

What’s most important is the message and not the medium. Entries can be in whatever form is easiest for you. The entry can be sent if that is possible or hosted elsewhere and the link sent as the entry. Note that images in any entry must not include faces of real people, and no copyright must be infringed. The theme for Safer Internet Day (i.e. “PLAY YOUR PART FOR A BETTER INTERNET”) needs to be included in some way as part of the entry. Send your entry (or a link to your entry if stored online elsewhere) via email to This may be a link to the created /animation video hosted elsewhere (such as YouTube). Make sure you include details of the names of who created the song or rap, the age category, and where you’re from (either school name or the area in the Forth Valley area entrants are from).

What you’ll win

There will be a range of exciting prizes. Prizes include tablet devices, lock-and-play gaming sessions, online subscriptions, t-shirts, cinema tickets and more. And winning entries will be included here in the Central E-Safety Partnership online space and publicised, to include the names of the creators and their school or geographical area.

Deadline for entries

Launch is Safer Internet Day 2016 on February 9 with deadline for entries being received being 30 April 2016

How your entry will be judged

After the deadline the judging panel will select a winner in each category and all entrants will be advised of the outcome of the judging process.

How your entry will be shared after the deadline

All entries which meet the criteria of promoting positive uses of the Internet and delivering an e-safety message may be shared in a public online space and will include the names of the writers and their school or geographical area.

Terms and conditions

1. All entries must be received no later than the closing date of 30 April 2016.

2. All entrants must be living in the Forth Valley area or from schools within the Forth Valley e-safety Partnership area (Clackmannan Council, Falkirk Council, and Stirling Council areas).

3. Material submitted must be the original work of the children or young people entering the competition, should not have been previously entered in any competition and should not infringe any copyrights or any other rights of third parties.

4. Entries may be created by groups of children or young people working collaboratively and must be entered in the category of the eldest child/young person in the group.

5. Entries must include the names of all those who created the entry, the category in which they are entering, and the name of their school (or location area).

6. Winning entries will be posted online following the outcome of the judging process. All entries which meet the criteria of promoting positive uses of the Internet and delivering an e-safety message may be shared in a public online space and will include the names of the writers and their school/geographical area.

7. Entrants should keep a copy of their entries as entered material will not be returned.

8. By entering the competition entrants accept the terms and conditions and agree that entries may be used by the Forth Valley e-safety Partnership for promotional purposes at no cost, which will include placing them online and promoting via various avenues. The rights and ownership of the entries will remain with the creators.

This competition is promoted by the Central E-Safety Partnership which covers the Forth Valley area of central Scotland.

E-Safety Advice and guides

You can find e-safety advice and guides here which might help with content you wish to include in your app/game or animation/video:

Resources which may help

BrainPOP animated videos specifically aimed at children and young people are being made available free of charge for the duration of the competition to Glow users in Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire – just click on the BrainPOP tile on the local authority launchpad within Glow. All BrainPOP animated videos and resources on a whole range of topics (which includes e-safety resources) will be accessible free of charge to Falkirk, Stirling and Clackmannanshire until 30 April.

Resources which may help in creating an animation can be found here:

Resources which may help in creating a game can be found here:

Resources which may help in creating an app can be found here:

Please note that the above links are only provided as suggested starting points and entrants may choose to use any tool which they prefer.

For a copy of the promotional poster to download and print to display please click on the link below:

CEP_2016_online_safety_competition poster

Protect your new device for viruses and spam for free

SophosFreeSo if you’ve got a new device, whether a smartphone, mobile device, tablet or desktop PC. It’s always a good idea to ensure you have protection on your device to help guard against viruses or malware. There are many options, and they can often be built into devices and just need enabled and for you to understand that they are there and need switched on and updates always applied.

If you are looking for a free option to consider as an alternative to a device’s in-built protections you may wish to look at the free tools from Sophos, whether Sophos Home, or mobile device protection or malware/virus removal tools. Follow the link below for more details.

Whatever tool you do choose it’s always important to ensure it is enabled and configured to give maximum security and to always keep it updated.

Your school can get your free education pack for Safer Internet Day 2016

SaferInternetDay16EdPacksClick here to get details of the Education Packs for Schools for Safer Internet Day 2016.  There are three packs: Primary (ages 3-11), Secondary (ages 11-19) and a pack for parents and carers. The packs are designed to help schools and organisations working with young people to plan and celebrate Safer Internet Day, 9 February 2016, under the theme ‘Play your part for a better internet’. Each pack contains a lesson plan, an assembly script, posters, drama activities and video content from SID TV. You can download the packs from the UK safer Internet Centre website by clicking on this link.

Teaching safer use of smartphone camera

SCparentsSCSchoolsLots of kids will get a new smartphone with a built-in camera at Christmas…
For parents, engaging with your kids can help build the confidence and resilience they need to cope. It allows them to chat more freely about the things they like on their phones, as well as things they don’t. For kids who need extra help with new technology, Parental Controls can also be useful.”

The ISPCC have put together the leaflets at the links below to help parents.
SelfieCop – flier for parents

SelfieCop – flier for schools


Digital Parenting Magazine

Digital_parenting_magazine4Digital Parenting – a magazine full of advice for parents/carers about mobile devices and the Internet and how to be better informed about keeping their children safe. Multiple copies of these magazine can be downloaded by schools for free, so every parent/carer can be given their own copy.

Past issues of the magazine can also be viewed online – these magazines are designed to help parents/carers keep their children safer using mobile technologies and online, and provide a great deal of information for parents/carers about a host of topics related to mobile phones and the Internet and their use by children and young people.​

Past issues:

Current Issue for ordering for schools:

Current issue to view online:



Don’t let reluctance to broach online safety leave children unprepared for online world

O2NSPCCEsafetyresourceO2 and NSPCC launch an online partnership to help parents/carers support their children online.

O2 and the NSPCC  announced an online safety partnership as new research reveals thousands of children are potentially missing out on vital online advice and support at a crucial time in their development.
The O2 and NSPCC press release reported that the YouGov survey of more than 2,000 parents of children aged 8 to 13 suggests a worrying ‘digital delay’ as parents may be postponing conversations with their kids about staying safe online. The findings reveal that although 91 per cent of eight year olds use the internet at least once a week, on average parents think that children should be at least nine before their parents tackle issues of online safety with them.*
The research, also highlights a contradiction in the way parents approach online and offline welfare and safety issues. On average, parents thought it was right to talk to kids about everyday ‘real world’ issues such as stranger danger and bullying from age seven. However, when it comes to similar issues online, such as chatting to strangers on the web or cyber-bullying, on average parents felt that these conversations could wait until their children are at least nine*.
To ensure parents can access the practical advice and support they need to help their children stay safe online, O2 and NSPCC have teamed up to launch a ground-breaking partnership which will provide free one-on-one expert technical advice to parents via a dedicated new helpline, as well as interactive workshops delivered in workplaces and schools up and down the country.
And, importantly for the hundreds of thousands of children that contact ChildLine every year – O2 will also zero-rate ChildLine online, making it free for children and young people to get the help and support they need – even if they don’t have credit on their mobile phones.
Ronan Dunne, O2 CEO said: “While the internet is driving economic growth and positively transforming the way we live and work, the simple truth is that, like the ‘offline’ world, the online world comes with risks attached. Risks that need to be acknowledged and faced. Although progress has been made in ensuring young people receive practical online safety advice, our research and experience also suggests that more needs to be done to help parents, particularly those who don’t feel as confident supporting their children in the fast-changing digital world.

“That’s why today we are launching an ambitious partnership with the NSPCC to give parents free expert personalised advice to build their digital competence to help keep their children safe online. It is our hope that this partnership will help parents and their families to make the most of the wonders of the web, safely.”

NSPCC chief executive, Peter Wanless said: “Sadly we know that children up and down the country are struggling because of difficult experiences online. Thousands of young people contact us about issues such as online grooming, cyber bullying and after viewing sites which encourage eating disorders, self-harm and suicide. We need to ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills to protect themselves.

“This is a 21st century problem that will not go away and we need a real focus on teaching young people about staying safe on the internet which, is why we are joining forces with O2. Together we want to help parents recognise that for their children there is often no distinction between the online and offline world. Through our new helpline, workshops and online hub we want to encourage parents to learn more about what they can do to help keep their children safe. We hope that this partnership is just the start and that others will follow suit.”
Baroness Joanna Shields, UK Minister for Internet Safety and Security, said: “Growing up has never been easy but today the virtual world presents a whole new set of risks which are all too unfamiliar to parents. The challenge of keeping children safe online requires the full support and cooperation of parents, industry, charities and the government. We welcome the NSPCC and O2 partnership which brings together experts on the technology our children use with those who understand the way they use it.
“Government takes safety online seriously and we are standing alongside parents to make sure the internet is safer for children to explore, learn and create fearlessly.”

When it comes to what’s behind the digital delay identified by the survey – a significant number of parents expressed concern about the emotional implications of talking to their kids about online safety before they’re ten years old:
• Of the parents who think children should be 10 years or older to initiate conversations about online safety, nearly four in ten parents (39%) felt they would be too young to understand the issue
• Just over a quarter (26 %) of these parents believe the nature of the conversation would scare or upset them too much.

Surprisingly, almost one in 10 (9%) admit they don’t see the need for parents to ever proactively talk about cyber bullying, and 11% don’t think parents should ever initiate a conversation about viewing age appropriate content online.

The study also highlighted that confidence in dealing with online issues could be key:
• Nearly a third (31%) of all parents admitted they would refer their child to another adult or sibling if they asked them questions about an issue they’d encountered online
• While one in six (16%) admitted they’re more confident giving advice to their child about staying safe in ‘real life’ compared to staying safe online.

Even though a quarter (26%) of those parents who acknowledge feeling less confident about staying safe online don’t believe they have the technical knowledge to give their child practical advice it’s clear from the survey that the current generation of digital natives genuinely value guidance from their parents. Of the 1,000 children surveyed whose parents had ever talked to them about online safety, nearly two thirds (60%) said that they had modified their online behaviour as a result.

The new partnership between O2 and the NSPCC is designed to give parents the tools, support and information they need to help their children explore the internet safely. The partnership includes:
• A dedicated new joint helpline designed to help parents to navigate the digital world safely. The free helpline will be staffed by NSPCC-trained O2 tech-experts who will be able to give parents the technical advice they need to get the most out of the internet, including how to set privacy settings and parental controls.
• Free interactive workshops in schools and workplaces from January 2016 to help parents brush up their digital skills and expertise. Run by O2 tech experts, and NSPCC staff, the workshops will equip and empower parents with the skills they need to have impactful conversations with their children about how to safe online.

For further information about the partnership or to sign up for one of the workshops, visit:

About the research
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total adult sample size was 20,014, of whom 2,009 were parents of children aged 8 to 13. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st July – 13th August 2015. Total children’s sample size was 1,142 aged 8 to 13. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st July – 7th August 2015. Both surveys were carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+) and all GB children (aged 8 to 13).

*Parents of 8-13 year olds were asked at what age they believed they should initiate conversations with their children about offline wellbeing and safety topics (road safety, stranger danger, sex education, how to stay safe from sexual abuse, friendship difficulties, dealing with death, watching age-inappropriate content on TV (e.g. pornography, violent videos/ games), body image and bullying) as well as online wellbeing and safety topics ( sharing personal information online, using webcams and online video chat safely, keeping internet settings secure, using location settings, viewing age-inappropriate content online (e.g. pornography, violent online videos/ games), creating social media profiles, talking or meeting strangers online, cyber-bullying and sexting). On average,
parents believed they should initiate conversations about these offline topics at the age of 6.51, and about these online topics at the age of 8.9.

The means did not include those that said ‘Not applicable – I don’t think parents should ever initiate a conversation with their children about this topic’.

Be Awesome Online and in Real Life – YouthSpark Hub Online Safety

YouthSparkHubOnlineSafetyBe Awesome Online and in Real Life – a post on the YouthSpark Hub provided by Microsoft. This is a series of visual pages with interactive elements, whether getting viewers to choose responses to questions and then presenting statistics on how others responded to these responses. And there is a quiz about online safety. And having enjoyed the interactive materials there are then links to hosts of associated materials, help guides as well as research.

Child Internet Safety Training Conference Event in Edinburgh on Wednesday 28 October 2015


Child Internet Safety Training Conference Event in Edinburgh on Wednesday 28 October 2015

Child Internet Safety conference: Leading challenges, effective responses and strategies for minimizing risk online Wednesday 28 October 2015 in Edinburgh

This event seeks to provide an opportunity for colleagues from schools, local authorities and the third sector to hear about how to strike the right balance between keeping children safe online and ensuring they become highly competent, confident and responsible digital citizens.

Featuring a range of expert speakers, this one-day training conference will comprise three core strands covering:

Cyber bullying and Sexting
◾ The dangers and impact of these leading challenges to child online safety in Scotland

◾Effective responses and strategies for minimizing the risks

E-safety in Scotland’s schools
◾ Embedding online safety into the Curriculum for Excellence and promoting a whole school approach to responsible use

◾ Reviewing and improving e-safety provision in Scottish schools using the 360 degree safe self-assessment tool (developed by South West Grid for Learning and rolled out by Education Scotland last year)

Partnership working on e-safety
◾ Developing collaborative strengths-based approaches

◾ The benefits of engaging with a range of groups to promote child online safety – creating a better, safer internet together

Speakers include:

• Louise Macdonald OBE, Chief Executive, Young Scot

• Brian Donnelly, Director, respectme

• Professor Andy Phippen, Plymouth University

• Heather Smith, Principal Officer – Child Care & Protection Training and Development, City of Edinburgh Council

• Ron Richards, E-Safety Consultant with South West Grid for Learning

• Plus, representatives from the Scottish Parent Teacher Council

Find out more, and register to attend, at the link below:

Childnet Digital Leaders Programme for UK High Schools

ChildnetDigitalLeadersProgrammeChildnet Digital Leaders Programme for UK High Schools provides a series of activities to support learners aged 11-18 in UK high schools become champions for digital citizenship and digital creativity within their schools and to educate their peers, parents and teachers about staying safe online.

This youth leadership programme offers pupils structured training and ongoing support from Childnet’s expert team, helping make e-safety learning fun and effective and helping schools work towards an outstanding whole school community approach to e-safety.

To find out more and request a school information pack high schools just simply send an email to .