PLEASE PROTECT YOUR CHILD – Mobile Phones / Devices, Apps and OnLine Safety
This information has been brought to my attention by another Headteacher colleague that you ought to know about and act upon.
E-safety is becoming a real issue to all schools. Whilst parents are responsible for the safety of the children at home many parents do not realise or understand the real safeguarding risks of simply giving their children a phone or mobile device.
Last week SnapChat, used regularly by many children of primary age despite an age limit of 13+, launched a new feature SnapMaps. This feature enables strangers to know the exact location of children using the app on their phones/devices and also to track a child’s movements. It also allows strangers to access photos and videos the child is making and children to access other users’ photos and videos. The associated risks are quite clear!
Earlier this week, a staff member from this school showed the Headteacher a video a Y6 child in the school had made which was available for anyone nearby her to watch. Likewise, they were able to see the location of the child. The child knew nothing of the potential risk she was putting herself in by using Snapchat to make an innocent video with her friend (another Y6 child).
SnapMaps allows users to see the location of their contacts. This feature allows others to accurately pinpoint where you are. There are three possible privacy settings:
ChildNet have posted a thorough explanation of SnapMaps and how to ensure users stay safe. Well worth a read if your child has a mobile phone or device.
If you don’t know what apps your child is using then check! I would urge all parents to check their child’s mobile phone/devices and check that they do not have apps on which are designed for older children and if so remove such apps. If parents know their child is using apps such as SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook (all age 13+) or What’s app (16+) then at the very least please check the security settings on the apps are set to protect your child.
Thanking you in anticipation of your kind attention.
S .J. Wallis