What you need to know to keep your child safe online.
NEW - November 2016 - Why do age limits on social media matter?
Taken from #DITTO Online Safety Magazine (Alan Mackenzie esafety-adviser.com)
DOING IT TOGETHER - Ages and Online Services
Many online services require us to submit our age or date of birth for various reasons when you sign up for an account. One of the most common reasons is in regards to the terms and conditions of many social networks under the requirements of COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act) which is a law in the United States - from 1998 - which requires parental permission for personal data to be collected in order for that data to be used for the purposes of advertising.
Loosely translated, this means that children under the age of 13 cannot use many online services (commonly social media) as the terms and conditions of the service provider state that the individual must be over the age of 13 (sometimes older).
The requirement is as old as it is unrealistic and unworkable; the ‘safeguards’ are at best laughable and at worst non-existent.
Let’s say your child set up a social media account when they were 8, and as part of the sign-up process indicated they were 13 in order to satisfy the age-verification process. Now, 5 years later, that 13 year-old appears as 18 on the site.
There are a couple of things here: not only will the targetted advertising change on some of these sites, but much more seriously, if your child is targetted by an online groomer they person could argue that they thought they were talking to another adult.
ADVICE: It is hugely important to keep the conversation with your child going, regardless of their age. Discuss the sites and services they use and go through those services together (particularly social media) and get those ages or dates of birth checked.
This is also an ideal time for a bit of housekeeping; get those old accounts and services that are no longer used deleted.
Online Safety briefing from Telford and Wrekin Safeguarding Children Board
This briefing from Telford & Wrekin Council contains some important information about Kik Messenger, What's App and Tumblr. Click the link below to read more.
Parental Controls in the Home
There are lots of great tips in the link below for how to keep your home and family safe online:
A - Z of Safe Children Online
Although it is quite long, this a - z guide is full of sensible advice for keeping children safe online:
Stay one step ahead with the clear advice on Childnet International.
Thank you to amazingict for the links.