Information Guides for Parents
We are delighted to be able to host some incredible information for parents on these very informative posters created by National Online Safety. Please feel free to download and share them with other parents, schools and youth groups.
Issues parents should discuss with children
Talking about the online world with your child can be difficult, and some topics can be particularly awkward; for you and your child! As a result of this, we have put together a series of 7 questions that will help you start an initial conversation with your child, so you have a better understanding of what they do online and how you can protect them. Additionally, it’s important to note that regular conversations with your child about the Internet will help your child to build confidence when talking about online issues, and therefore help to build trust too.
If you have children, it is understandable to have concerns about the films and TV shows they watch, as well as the games they play. In this guide, we take a look at the two official ways you can assess if a particular title is suitable for your child. Both the BBFC and PEGI have search facilities on their websites that can be used to look up individual titles so you can check their ratings.
‘Apps’ are designed to run on certain devices and are written for a speciﬁc operating system, such as Apple iOS, Windows, or Android. The oﬃcial store for the Apple iOS operating system is known as the ‘App Store’ and it’s where you can browse and download more than 2 million apps and games to use on the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and other Apple devices. When your children are using the app store, you need to be aware of the risks…
In this technological era, making friends online and communicating with them are normal parts of life. Unfortunately, there are people out there who may try and exploit your trust. Catfishing is when someone creates a fake online profile to trick people into thinking they are somebody else. They assume a fake identity and goes the extra mile to make their victim believe that they are exactly who they say they are.
Live streaming is the term used to describe the broadcast of a real-time video from a mobile device, tablet or games console. Many live streaming apps have the functionality for interactions from viewers, such as commenting, live chats and sending reactions during the broadcast. Live streaming opens up a world of excitement for children, where they can watch live concerts, their favourite celebrities and bloggers/vloggers, connect with their friends, watch live gaming and much, much more. Whilst there are many positives with live streaming, it creates a worldwide platform for unsuitable content to be streamed and creates a host of dangers for children.
There have been recent reports in nearly every major news channel about ‘Momo’. To respond to this, we have created a balanced guide which provides parents and carers with information to help. We encourage parents and carers to read this guide which includes tips to better monitor online activity and have meaningful conversations with their children about online safety.
Fake news can be false information, photos or videos purposefully created to confuse or misinform. It can also be genuine information that has been manipulated to deceive. It is important that we learn how to distinguish between real news and fake news.
How can schools help parents? While parents’ evenings and meetings are a great way of informing parents and carers about online safety, it can be difficult to get all parents physically into the school at the same time. In response to this, we’ve created a FREE staffroom poster that lists 7 simple strategies to help schools engage parents in online safety.
Grooming is when someone befriends and builds an emotional connection with a child to gain their trust for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation. They can do this both offline and online, with technology and the Internet being commonly used to initiate and facilitate contact with a child. Gaining victims’ trust is a key part of engaging them in sexually explicit behaviour. The groomer, who can either be a stranger or someone a child already knows, tends to use tactics such as engaging in small talk or exchanging personal information with the child about hobbies and relationships, using flattery and gifts to build a rapport or even making threats and intimidation to gain control. This can take place over varying periods of time – from a few days to several years. It is illegal in the UK for an adult to send a sexual message to a child.
Online bullying – also known as cyberbullying – is bullying that takes place ON THE INTERNET or via electronic devices and mobile phones. It can include: Sending someone mean or threatening emails, direct messages or text messages; Hacking into someone’s online account; Being rude or mean to someone when playing online games; Posting private or embarrassing photos online or sending them to others; Creating fake social media accounts that mock someone or trick them; Excluding someone from an online conversation or blocking them for no reason.
Sexting involves sending and receiving explicit messages, images or videos of a sexual nature. This content is usually uploaded on a mobile device, which can then be uploaded onto social networking sites and shared further. They can be sent to or from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or someone your child has met online. Sexting is often described as the new flirting for children – but it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18.
It can be challenging for parents and carers to know whether children are spending too much time on their devices. Furthermore, it’s even more of a challenge to know whether a child is addicted to the internet and social media. As technology is becoming more pervasive, children and young people are experiencing tech – related dependencies. Do we as parents and carers have the knowledge to identify and support children and young people who may be developing an addiction to their devices?
Information for Parents on Games and Apps
You don’t need to be the biggest football fan in the world to have heard of FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) – the governing body for football. And, the video game series bearing the organisation’s name is one of the most successful ever. The lure of this football series is that official licensing gives your child the opportunity to play games in the role of their favourite players. They can either work through a story mode version of the game or play online in competitions against other players. The game, released annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label, is available for a range of consoles, and there are also mobile versions available for smartphones and tablets. The most recent version is FIFA 19.
Grand Theft Auto is an action-adventure video game series where players control criminals and wreak havoc in order to complete missions and progress through the game. During the early stages of the game, it solely focused on completing missions to go up a level. However, as the game grew more popular the makers of GTA decided to introduce a narrative to each edition of the game. The aim of this was to increase user engagement, making gamers believe that they were not just playing as the character, but they became the character. Grand Theft Auto is accessible on a number of devices including: PlayStation and Xbox, desktop computers, PSP, Nintendo DS, and Mobile.
‘Fortnite – Battle Royale’, is a free to play section of the game ‘Fortnite’. The game sees 100 players dropped on to an island from a ‘battle bus’ where they have to compete until one survivor remains. The last remaining player on the island wins the game. Players have to find items hidden around the island, such as weapons, to help them survive longer in the game. To make the game harder, there is an added twist called ‘the storm’, which reduces the size of the island from the start of gameplay, making the players closer together in proximity. The game is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Mac and iOS.
Houseparty is a live streaming app described as a face-to-face social network where people ‘drop in’ on each other to video chat, leave messages and hang out in groups. The platform also says #StrangerDanger gives you the opportunity for ‘party time’. In the UK alone, there is an estimated 1.5 million people using the app, more than half of which are under the age of 24.
Instagram is a photo sharing app that allows users to share images and videos with the world. The app has a live streaming feature and additional add-ons, such as ‘Boomerang’, ‘Hyperlapse’ and ‘Layout’, which can be used to enhance their feed. Users can choose to add filters and make adjustments to their photos, such as brightness / contrast. To make their content more ‘searchable’, users can include hashtags in their uploads to make them easier to find.
Kik is a free messaging app used by 300 million people worldwide that lets users exchange messages, photos, videos, GIFs and webpages via a Wi-Fi connection or data plan. Kik is unusual in that your child can sign up without a phone number and then find and message other people via just their username. Kik is aimed at anyone aged 13 years and older – the app says teens between 13 and 18 years old will need parental permission but it does not verify ages.
LiveMe is a streaming video app that lets you watch live streams and broadcast your own live videos to anyone interested. The service, which claims to have amassed more than 60 million global users and streams around 300,000 hours of footage a day, is aimed at giving creators a ‘platform to reach a wide audience and share their talents and passions directly with their fans’. Users can buy virtual coins and gifts and send these to broadcasters who create content ‘they love’, which can be redeemed for real money.
Minecraft is one of the biggest computer games in the world, with more than 144 million copies sold. It is a sandbox game where players can build houses and other creations, explore vast environments and play with other people online. Multiplayer in Minecraft – available through player-hosted and business-hosted servers – enables multiple players to interact and communicate with each other on a single world. It’s with this online element where some dangers can come from.
Reddit is a rather unique site that blends the idea of a social network with news, discussion forums and various other media. The site is broken down into a huge number of categories covering every topic imaginable. Each category is treated as a community and users can submit content for others to see and comment on. This can take the form of links to existing online content or user-generated text and image-based submissions. Submitted content can not only be commented on by others, but also rated using the upvote/downvote system.
Roblox is a multi-player online gaming platform which allows children to play and create a variety of games in a 3D world. Roblox is free to play and available on all modern smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.
Snapchat is a photo sharing app for mobile phones and tablets. The app allows users to share images for a limited number of seconds, chat with users before messages disappear, and share images with their friends list through a ‘story’.
TikTok is a global video community where users create, share and discover ‘funny and memorable moments’ via short video clips – typically about 15 seconds long. Videos can be ‘spiced up’ with special effect filters, stickers, music and sound clips. Currently one of the world’s most popular apps, TikTok was formerly known as Musical.ly, before it was rebranded by the Chinese company that acquired it in November 2017. If your child previously had a Musical.ly account, all of their videos and personal settings will have automatically been moved to TikTok.
Twitter is a social networking site where users can post ‘tweets’ or short messages, photos and videos publicly. They can also share ‘tweets’ written by others to their followers. Twitter is popular with young people, as it allows them to interact with celebrities, stay up to date with news, trends and current social relevance.
Twitch is a gaming-focussed live-streaming service, owned by Amazon, where you can watch others play games live and listen to commentary as they play. It has 15 million daily active users and more than three million people live broadcast video game streams and other content on Twitch, with channels dedicated to just about every popular video game imaginable – both modern and retro. There are also shows that feature gaming competitions, professional tournaments, game-related chat and news. Plus, numerous non-gaming channels covering everything from cookery and music to art and travel. But Twitch is not just about watching other people’s shows – anyone can broadcast their own gaming action.
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world, with more than 1.5 billion people in more than 180 countries using it to send and receive text, photos, videos and documents, as well as make voice and video calls through an Internet or Wi-Fi connection. The free app oﬀers end-to-end encryption, which means that messages can only be read by the sender and the recipient in one-to-one chats, or all members if it is a group chat. Not even WhatsApp can read them.
YouTube is a video sharing site/application that enables you to upload, view, rate, share and comment on a wide variety of videos. Consisting of a huge resource of information, advice and entertainment, YouTube now has 1.9 billion logged-in monthly users who watch a billion hours of video daily. Most of the content on Google-owned YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but organisations and media companies also oﬀer some of their content via this platform.
Yubo, a location-based social networking app which used to be called Yellow, has been dubbed ‘Tinder for teens’ in the media due to its similarities with adult dating app, in which users swipe to find matches. Its official guidelines do not permit users under the age of 13 on the app, while those aged between 13 and 17 must have parental permission to create a profile.
We wish to extent our most sincere thanks to National Online Safety for granting permission to permit the use of their excellent series of Online Safety posters. If your considering a presentation for your school, club, office or require a keynote speaker Contact Us for more information.
A West Cork Judge has warned of the dangers and journeys into “the dark side of human behaviour”, through the access of child pornography content on smartphones. Judge James McNulty made his comments as he convicted a Martin Hayes, aged 37, from Clonakilty, Co Cork for possession of child pornographic images discovered by authorities on his iPhone. Judge McNulty also issued a stern warning to those tempted to access such content, noting that the societal implications of a conviction were far worse than a prison sentence.
A new threat has emerged, and it is putting puts both adults and children at risk of appearing in pornographic videos. A number of women found to their horror, images put on their own Social Media profiles, were superimposed, over the faces of porn actress in videos. The seamlessly grafted images in these videos are incredibly authentic looking. This technique is now also used to generate revenge porn featuring ex-partners. The content then circulated online or through message apps.
We design Internet Safety Presentations and Workshops to Specifically to meet your needs
Primary and Post Primary Schools
We combine a Parental Cyber Defence module with the Primary and Post Primary student module, to create a greater awareness and understanding between children and parents with the primary emphasis on communication and the protection of personal privacy.
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Individuals with Special Needs or intellectual disabilities
We are one of the few companies in Ireland who have designed and delivered, content to those with special needs or intellectual disabilities and their parents. We create content to cater specific groups according to the needs and requirements of a group.
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Third Level Students & Staff
Our focus here for students of third level institutes, is on Mental Health and Wellbeing combined with Online Reputation Management and methods of Online Sterilisation. The ability of employers to use Open Source Information to profile potential candidates for future employment is an important consideration for those who are currently creating a Digital Footprint, which could have a potentially negative impact of career choices.
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Teaching staff are at the front line and play an important roll in the lives of children. Often they can be the first to become aware of an online issue. We provide a module which complies with Child First Guidelines for first responders to data incidents. We also highlight the importance of boundries in an online world, the importance of staff members Online Reputation, Digital Footprint and Privacy.
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Corporate / Keynote Speaker
We have successfully presented at everything from Conferences to Local Community based Information Evenings. As we are not restricted to a particular area of Online Safety, we address online issues which are having an impact not only on Social Engineering, Personal Privacy and Security, GDPR, but also on the Mental Health and Wellbeing of end users.
We can design modules for businesses who wish to provide presentations for staff. These presentations can be adapted to address your concerns..
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NEW for 2019
- Online, Social Media, Pornography & Gaming Addiction
- What is it
- How to identify it
- How to address it
- The Impact of GDPR the rights and responsibilities of the School, Company
- What GDPR means for Staff, Parents and Children
- Social Engineering
- Online Privacy in the Work and Home Environment
We also intend to host a number of BYOD Days – Bring Your Own Devices Day
Parents are encouraged to come along with their devices and we will show them how to set up parental controls on the devices. To organise one of these dates we do advise to book as early as possible.
- Full setup guides are included along with you tube tutorials which we will have available on the website.
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What is VSCO?
Parents in Cork expressed outrage today, following the discovery of a number of young Cork girls sharing images on a image sharing platform called VSCO. The self-generated, or user-generated content was described as inappropriate by those who viewed the imagery. VSCO is an image sharing site. It is frequently used by professional photographers, as it offers superior methods of photo and video editing for their content. The platform is in existence for some time. It boasts well in excess of 40 million users. The concept of the platform is to encourage photography. VSCO has a predominantly artistic look and feel, to the majority of the images you find posted on the platform.
Children of the Digital Age, was created to deliver Cyber Safety, Online Privacy and Data Protection information to people of all ages all over Ireland. We also now provide educational courses on Pornography and Gaming Addiction. Our goal is empowerment through enjoyable education seminars. Cyber and Internet Safety issues, such as Cyberbullying, Screen Addiction and Sexting, and Pornography Addiction and access, are now only part of the changing and rapidly expanding Cyber landscape. Patents no longer want to attend presentations, to hear the same message repeated year on year. Getting parents to attend to these incredibly important information evenings is essential for successfully educating both young and old, about the existing and constantly emerging new threats we all face in the online world.
Our focus at Children of the Digital Age, has never been about specific Social Media Apps or Privacy Settings. We strongly believe this information is readily available from a variety of sources online. Knowing this, we chose to identify the real hazards and current dangers which are making people susceptible online. Often, it is down to simple human nature. The issues we highlight have a direct impact on everyone, not just children. This is what makes us unique.
We do not rely on a single presentation format, rather, our content dynamic and constantly evolving, addressing new potential risks the moment they arise. Since our inception, we have highlighted, the invasive nature of Apps and potential hazards of Social Media and Pornography. A core element of our Cyber Safety presentations is the misuse of Personal Information and Data through Apps installed on digital devices. Our primary function is always focused on the protection of children online.
5 Star Quality Content
We pride ourselves on being able to deliver very humorous, eye-catching presentations, which have captivated audiences all over Ireland. Regardles of the audience age, we consistantly receive incredible feedback from all those who attend. Children of the Digital Age have a 5 star rating on Facebook from those who have attended our presentations. We also are one of the only companies in Ireland capable meeting the educational Online Safety needs, of those with intellectual disabilities. We can design specific Cyber Safety content, programs and information evenings on almost every online issue on request.
If you are considering an Online Safety Workshop, Parents Evening, Community Group Meeting, Staff Presentation or looking for a Keynote Speaker, give us a call. We can guarantee our style, approach and content is second to none in Ireland at present.
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Contact : 087 – 7485152
: 087 – 9175014
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