A recent BBC report suggests that a worrying number of teenagers are swapping intimate or sexually explicit photos, called “sexts”, on their mobile phones.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre says it receives daily reports of harassment after private photos have been circulated. Some “sexts” have ended up on forums used by child sex offenders.
According to charity Beatbullying, “One in four 11 to 18-year-olds have received a “sext” by phone or email”
The charity, which surveyed 2,094 young people in England, said, “23% of messages came from a current boyfriend or girlfriend, 45% from friends and 2% from adults”.
This video from ThinkUKnow Australia is useful to talk about the issues and implications of sending inappropriate images over the Internet and by mobile phone. It is suitable for use at Level 3 and Level 4.
New Internet Safety Resources to support young people with a range of cognitive or communication difficulties, special educational needs or learning disabilities.
CEOP have created an animation and lesson plan/activity sheet for young people with a range of cognitive or communication difficulties, special educational needs or learning disabilities. Three versions of the animation ‘Josh and Sue’ are available; ranging from mild to severe needs and an audio only version.
You can download the videos from the CEOP Resource area along with accompanying materials such as lesson plans and worksheets.
We have embedded the ‘moderate’ version of the Josh and Sue video below:
As always resources have been developed through working closely with an extensive range of disability groups and professionals working in the area. At different stages in their development, the resources have been evaluated through a range of focus groups with young people.
Highly suitable for use at Level 3 and Level 4 to talk around the theme of responsibility and giving other peoples information away. The video basically demonstrates that when you up-load your address book to facebook it is able to cross-reference this information on its database to see if you have contacts in common. It makes the assumption that these people are your friends and recommends that you connect to them.
It is interesting because it means that Facebook has information about users who aren’t even on Facebook.
Inside the Google Family Safety Centre there are a number of YouTube video clips from Google employees who are also parents – they share some realistic safety advice and this is a useful resource to share with parents and guardians in schools.
Here are some general suggestions for how to help keep your family safe online from Google employees:
Keep computers in a central place. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your children’s activities.
Know where your children go online. If you have young children, you might use the Internet with them. For older children you could talk about what kinds of sites they like to visit and what isn’t appropriate for your family. You can also check where your kids have been by looking at the history in your browser menu. Another option is to use filtering tools like Google SafeSearch.
Teach Internet safety. It’s impossible to monitor your child’s online activity all the time. As they get older, they need to know how to use the Internet safely and responsibly when they’re on their own.
Use privacy settings and sharing controls. Many sites that feature user-generated content, including YouTube, Blogger and social networking sites, have sharing controls that put users in charge of who sees personal blogs, photos, videos, and profiles. Using sharing controls is particularly important when you or your children share personal information such as names, addresses, or phone numbers, on public sites. Teach your children to respect the privacy of friends and family by not identifying people by name in public profiles and pictures.
Protect passwords. Remind your children not to give out their passwords. Make sure they make a habit of unclicking “remember me” settings on public computers such as those at school or in the library.
Beware of strangers. Teach your children not to arrange in-person meetings with people they “meet” online, and not to share personal information with online strangers because people may not be who they claim to be.
Help prevent viruses. Use antivirus software and update it regularly. Make sure your children avoid downloading from file-sharing websites and don’t accept files or open email attachments from unknown people.
Teach your children to communicate responsibly. Take the following as a good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t text it, email it, instant message it, or post it as a comment on someone’s page.
View all content critically. Just because you see it online, there’s no guarantee it’s true. Children should learn how to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, and how to verify information they find online. Make sure kids understand that cutting and pasting content directly from a website may be plagiarism.
YouTube has Community Guidelines that describe the type of content that is and isn’t allowed on the site. However, there may be cases when you’d prefer to screen out content even though it meets Google’s guidelines.
Opting in to Safety Mode means that videos with mature content or that have been age-restricted will not show up in video search, related videos, playlists, shows or films. While no filter is 100% accurate, Google uses community flagging and porn-image detection to help identify and hide inappropriate content. It is also designed to hide objectionable comments.
Safety Mode on YouTube does not remove content from the site, but rather helps hide it from users who opt in.
Click on the link at the bottom of any video page to select Safety Mode and lock it for that browser with your YouTube password. To learn more, check out the video below.
Lee and Kim are a brother and sister navigating the online world with the help of their trusted superhero friend SID!
With his super powers, SID shows them how to keep themselves safe while having fun online. Based around 4 simple tips for children to remember and a song, the cartoon aims to teach children how to protect themselves and others around them.
As well as addressing grooming, the animation also focuses on digital citizenship highlighting the importance of treating each other well and behaving responsibly not only in the playground, but also online.
A YouTube Trailer of the resource is embedded below:
NetSmartz is an online resource in the US that hosts a wealth of videos, information and resources. We will be organising this content and linking it to Curriculum for Excellence. If any school has used any of their resources, or is interested in rating it for us, please get in touch.
They also host a brilliant website, NSTeens, which we will be highlighting shortly.
This video gives a flavour of some of the resources they offer: