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Latest roundup of useful online safety snippets from


Latest roundup of useful online safety snippets from

Here's the latest roundup of useful online safety snippets:


I really don't like this term, I find it quite derogatory, but it was widely used in the media last week regarding a study (which doesn't appear to be publicly available) of interviews with 50,000 young people about sharing problems or worries online, apparently to get sympathy.

Being reported as new, or a new trend is misleading and unhelpful. Equally, is this attention seeking, attention needing, a cry for help or something else? I can't really comment as I, nor anyone I know can get hold of the report to have a look.

As this was breaking in the media I was visiting the wonderful British School in Paris and asked some of the students about this (a small group of sixth formers and approx. 80 Year 8's). Firstly they had never heard of the term (unsurprising), they did say it happens (we've known this for years), but interestingly they overwhelmingly stated it is on the increase. I didn't have time to go into it further but it may be worth exploring at your school, perhaps utilizing your school council or digital leaders to do a poll in order to gain further insight/understanding.

Gen Z and online safety

88% of Gen Z's (16-24 year olds) believe they are the most digitally responsible generation yet 64% don't think it's risky to share explicit photos online. There's some interesting figures in this study from GetSafeOnline which could be really useful as conversation starters in the classroom to get a debate going:

Instagram - new app called Threads

Instagram has a feature called 'close friends' which allows a user to create a list and add people to it in order to share stories. Threads capitalises on this feature; it's designed to share images and videos privately to this close friends list, which also means the user is in control of who can and can't be contacted. Essentially, it's private messaging using photos and videos between friends. Given the popularity of Instagram across the age ranges it'll be worthwhile keeping an eye on this one.

To read more click here:

Encryption and child protection

In 2018 the automated systems on Facebook Messenger identified 12 million instances of CSA. Protecting children and privacy online are two very different subjects yet impact on each other immensely. Recently Mark Zuckerberg, creator/owner of Facebook has been speaking a lot about privacy and the fact that Facebook services such as Messenger will be encrypted. Whilst this is welcome from the perspective of privacy, it's a very worrying development when it comes to protecting children because those automated systems mentioned in the first sentence above simply won't work.

To read more on this see John Carr's blog here:

Break the Fake

What is fake online is a hot subject, but how do you get this across to younger children in an engaging, impactful and fun way? Use House Hippos - these resources look like they could be a lot of fun, take a look here:

Online Safety Pro

In-depth training for your online safety lead PLUS 12 months online access to fully updated training for all your school staff and governors, PLUS regular video updates to keep you all right up to date.

7th Nov - London
(more dates to follow in 2020)

See here for more information:

Until next week

Best Wishes,

Alan Mackenzie

Tel:  01522 25 30 88

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