The police and Salford Local Authority have made us aware of an issue involving children using the website Omegle.com or Omegle State (USA). It is an online chat room which needs no registration process whatsoever, and is often linked with other 'copycat' sites involving significant adult content. The site matches you with a stranger, and you simply click and go to start chatting, and this includes video chat. Please see attached information sheet more detail, which highlights the risk of how easy it is for children to become vulnerable.
If you require any further resources regarding internet safety for pupils look at www.thinkuknow.co.uk. Download the information below for more information.
To help out children understand the different elements of online safety, we've developed an E-Safety Board that is displayed within classrooms. The board is broken down into four elements which encompass staying safe online: Share, Protect, Check and Respect.
Share: This elements focuses on the children thinking before they share material online and the possible risks and dangers associated with this. Since children now have access to a wide range of apps and programs they are able to send text messages, voice recordings, images and files easily and quickly. As a result, our focus is around the children understanding that they need to think carefully before sharing material online as well as who they decide to share with.
Protect: The protect element is closely linked with the children's understanding of sharing material online. Our focus is for the children to understand that they control what they share online as well as who get's to see it. When children do decide to share content online, they will need to be aware that their content is then effectively out of their control as other people can now copy, change or keep the material they put online. Linked in with this, is the children learning about the importance of protecting their personal information while online
Check: The check element is centered around the children understanding that the internet allows people to create false personas or content. This may be in the form of: fake competition, apps, programs or people 'posing' as somebody else on the internet. As a result, we are informing the children so that they can make educated choices about the content and people that they encounter while online.
Respect: The respect element tackles the idea that while the internet is a greater tool, it is also a place where we need to respect other people and their views. While accessing websites and apps, children will encounter a wide range of people, beliefs and ideas and as a result, our focus is around educating the children so that they become respectful and tolerant users of the internet.
What to do if you see something that makes you feel uncomfortable
The final element of the e-safety board focus on what to do if the children do see something that makes them feel uncomfortable. The children can access CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) which is part of the National Crime agency- you can find more information about who CEOP are here: https://ceop.police.uk/Safety-Centre/How-can-CEOP-help-me-YP/.
On the CEOP website children can make a report about what they have seen online. Parents and carers can also report concerns that they have using the website. Following on from this, CEOP will then investigate if appropriate and then take action if needed. You can make a report here: https://ceop.police.uk/CEOP-Reporting/
Information technology is attractive and familiar to young people, but they often lack the maturity to recognise that feeling safe is not the same as being safe. There are a few simple steps you can do to help keep them safe and give young people the awareness to know what to do if they feel uncomfortable about anything they encounter while on the Internet.
SIMPLE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE
1. If you do not wish for your child to be able to access any inappropriate content online, please ensure that their computers, laptops and other devices with internet access are all fitted with parental controls. You can find free downloadable versions online or you can contact your internet service provider (such as BT, Talk Talk, Sky) for more information.
2. As a minimum, please set parental controls on your search engines, YouTube account and the mobile phone your child uses. One of the most popular search engines in the world is Google. You can visit Google’s informative safety centre for simple step by step guides - www.google.com/familysafety/tools Here are a few options available to you; they truly are simple to set, promise. Visit the Google home page – www.google.co.uk and click on the ‘search setting’ tab in the top right hand corner. Scroll down the page and change the filtering options to suit your family’s needs. Make sure you lock the safe search; otherwise these settings can easily be changed without your knowledge. You can also set this on your child’s smart phone; Please be aware that no filter is 100% accurate. CEOP advise that you talk to your child about the sites they use.
Why don’t you discuss: Their favourite online sites what they enjoy most, the fun aspects of being online? What they think can go wrong? How would they react if things got out of control? Let them know that you understand that situations happen online and that seeing ‘adult’ material can make them feel uncomfortable. Make sure they know that you are there to help.
Need further help? Below are links to a number of websites that provide detailed information and keeping children safe online.
Safer Internet day 2016 will take place on 9th February 2016. Find out more and get involved!
These pages are designed to help both children and parents with E-Safety Issues, click on the links to visit the E-Safety pages!
A short film raising awareness of Safer Internet Day 2017 with parents and carers and encouraging them to have a conversation with their children about the internet. Parents and carers can find more about Safer Internet Day at www.saferinternetday.org.uk
Click here for more information.