The week beginning Monday 10th February is E - Safety Week. This is a hot topic in any school in the current social climate where younger and younger children have access to the internet and some are given their own mobile phone.
A number of children have spoken excitedly about mobile phones they received as Christmas presents - this is quite common in upper year groups as parents begin to prepare their children for secondary school. Whilst mobile phones can be a fantastic device where information can be found, connections and communication to friends and family made and educational support accessed they can also, unfortunately be a breeding ground for bullying and enable access to inappropriate content on the internet.
The maturity levels of children in primary school mean that there are often negative repercussions from interactions that have taken place outside of school via social media. This can be very distracting from our educational purpose and hours can be taken up trying to resolve the fallout from such things. Please ensure you are aware of your child's mobile phone usage and access to prevent this from spilling into school.
I would like to make you aware that several children have mentioned using TikTok at home. I thought it was worth sharing some information about this app with you, as it was talked about when we had the online safety workshop from the NSPCC last year, as misuse of it can put children at risk due to the ability to connect with other users and accept followers.
Please read the information and access the NSPCC website for details of other apps and websites mentioned or used by your children.
TikTok is a social media app where users can record and upload short video clips. In August 2018, TikTok merged with Musical.ly, meaning all users with Musical.ly accounts were moved to TikTok. We’ve pulled together some information about the app and how to keep your children safe while using it.
The majority of clips in TikTok include young people lip syncing and dancing to songs or comedy sketches (skits). Users can watch clips posted by other members, and can set their videos to be viewed publicly to other users or privately to friends (also known as followers).
Like Snapchat, TikTok has filters where users can record their videos. It also includes other additional video editing features such as slow motion or speeding up videos. What makes this app popular with young people is the collaborative element where TikTok users can reply to one another and do joint videos on a split screen or participate in user created challenges.
TikTok users can send messages to each other within the app; privacy settings for this can be changed to allow a user to communicate with all other TikTok users or just to friends. TikTok has a similar social media element like Instagram and Twitter, where users can follow each other and like content.
Is TikTok appropriate for my child?
As there isn't one single body that agrees age ratings for apps, there are various age recommendations for TikTok;
If your child is using TikTok, we recommend speaking to them about how they can use this app safely. We also suggest reading TikTok’s community guidelines, knowledge base for parents and privacy and safety sections.
Visit an O2 Guru in store
Our O2 online safety Gurus are NSPCC trained advisors based in O2 stores across the UK. They can help you to set up a device so that it is safe for your child, including enabling parental controls. The service is free of charge regardless of your network. Book your appointment with an O2 Guru today.
Call our O2 NSPCC Online Safety Advice Line
If you have a question about parental controls or a concern about a social network your child uses, O2 expert advisors, trained by NSPCC, are here to help. Call them for free on 0808 800 5002. They are open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 7pm.
Visit the NSPCC website
If you are looking for more online safety support, in addition to Net Aware we also have a wide range of resources, information and support, all to help keep your kids safe online. Just head to the NSPCC online safety section.