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National Online Saftey Newsletter April 2018

Online Safety Update April 2018
Welcome to the National Online Safety
April 2018 Newsletter
Welcome to the April edition of the National Online Safety newsletter – keeping you up to date with the latest online safety news, providing you with practical tips and advice.
April Game Focus
"Fortnite: Battle Royale"
Are your pupils playing Fortnite: Battle Royale?
You may have come across your pupils talking about the game Fortnite. As with many online games, Fortnite: Battle Royale comes with risks to children and young people. The game is PEGI rated at 12+ however, there is no proof of age required, which can expose younger children to violent content as well as inappropriate comments from older users. We’ve put together a FREE guide for schools and parents with more information about the game to help you keep children safe:
Download your FREE parent's guide
You can retweet the guide to your followers here:
Listen to our podcast about Fortnite with UKEdChat!
We were delighted to join UKEdChat this month to discuss the game taking the nation by storm; ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’. Take a listen to what our Senior School Business Consultant, Chris Skinner, had to say about the game here:
Listen to the podcast
App updates to note in April
Apps and games have regular updates to their features. As a teacher, it is important to keep an eye on these updates so you know as much as your pupils. Here are the ones to note from April:
  • YouTube have announced plans to add new settings to its kids app including giving parents the option to hand-pick every individual video and channels they are happy for their children to see.
  • Snapchat have launched a group video chat feature this month, allowing up to 16 people to join one video chat at one time.
  • Instagram now lets users share multiple photos and videos on their stories.
  • Instagram has also launched a ‘focus’ filter to the story mode which blurs the background when taking a portrait or selfie, making photos look more professional.
  • Spotify have introduced a ‘data saver’ feature for their free users, which optimises the listening experience using less mobile data.
  • Facebook Messenger is planning to implement a new feature that will allow users to unsend messages. Watch this space!
Slang term of the month: 'Griefing'
Griefing is when someone purposely upsets another player in a game. This can be done by setting traps, damaging or stealing something from another player, intentionally killing them and just generally doing something in the game to spoil gameplay for them. Essentially, ‘Griefing’ is a form of cyberbullying and can be extremely frustrating for players.
The game to watch out for in May...
With the release of the Marvel movie this month, ‘Avengers: Infinity War’, the mobile game ‘Marvel Strike Force’ is sure to be a popular release with children - not to mention it is free to play! The game is available on iOS and Android. You can watch the game trailer here:
Dangers to consider with the game:
  • In-app purchases and the in-game store: You can progress through the game without making purchases, but the game will take longer to complete.
  • The game is rated PEGI 12: This game is unsuitable for primary school children but there is no proof of age required when signing up.
  • Talking to strangers: There is a live chat during gameplay which could expose young children to inappropriate conversations. This can be turned off in the settings.
  • It can be addictive: There are timers when new challenges and levels are released which encourages players to continually return to playing the game when new elements become available.
  • Violence: Battling is central to the game so there is fighting and use of weapons.
Are there any apps or games that your pupils are talking about that you want to know more about? Please email with the title of the app/game for more information.
FREE Snapchat guide download!
Snapchat is a photo, video and message 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’. We’ve put together this useful guide for teachers and parents which details the features of the app and explains more about the associated dangers. Please feel free to share this with your school community and on your social media channels.
Download your FREE parent's guide
You can retweet the guide to your followers here:
Martin Lewis warns over Facebook scams
A Facebook executive has told MPs that they have removed "thousands" of fake adverts which feature Martin Lewis (founder of after he took the social media platform to court this month. Here are our top tips on how to spot a scam:
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes. Legitimate companies should not have any errors in their posts.
  • Check how long the page has existed for. If it is relatively new with little followers, this should ring alarm bells.
  • Check the comments on the post. Unfortunately, others may have fallen for the scam and want to let other people know about it.
  • Does the offer look too good to be true? Usually, if it seems this way, it is!
You should report any fake accounts or posts directly to Facebook.
WhatsApp announce ban for under 16s in the EU
‘WhatsApp’ have announced that they will ban under 16s from using their service in the EU, ahead of the introduction of the GDPR which will come into force on the 25th May 2018. Currently, the minimum age limit for WhatsApp users is 13 years old. Under the new Terms and Conditions of use, WhatsApp users will be asked to confirm their age in order to proceed with using the service. Users will be required to nominate a parent or carer to give permission for them to share data. If users do not obtain permission, they will experience a less personalised version.
Are you ready for the GDPR changes next month? 
As you may be aware, the new data protection laws are coming into effect on the 25th May 2018. If you want to make sure your schools General Data Protection Regulations are in place, there’s still time to join our GDPR training series. Our GDPR for Schools Webinar Training Series Package has been tailored to meet school requirements and covers all the key areas for schools to implement their own strategy. The training series starts with an Introduction to GDPR, and then follows with webinars about Data Security for Schools, Data Protection Officers, Subject Access Requests and Oversight & Compliance:
Find out more
Cyberbullying survey with Smoothwall
Following on from our recent partnership with Smoothwall, a leader in real-time content filtering technology, we need YOUR INPUT in order to find out the true scale of cyberbullying within education and further help support schools. We are conducting a follow-up research campaign in partnership with Smoothwall and need your help by completing our short survey. The survey takes no longer than 5 minutes and we would be extremely grateful if you could share these links with your school community:
School staff survey:
Pupil survey:
Parents survey:
26% increase in sexual abuse reports
Earlier this month, The IWF published it’s 2017 Annual Report. The IWF works proactively to remove child sexual abuse content from the internet, helping to make the UK and other countries hostile places to host online child sexual abuse content. Whilst the response rate for removal of Child Sexual abuse content is swift and relatively small in volume compared to the rest of the world, the IWF has still seen a 26% increase in reports processed from 2016.
We have summarised the key findings from the report for you. Click here to view:
Our Certified School of the month
From left to right: Garry Drinkall (ICT Manager at St Lawrence Academy), Tony Wood (Financial Director at St Lawrence Academy), Chris Skinner (Senior Consultant at National Online Safety), Mike Adnitt (Principal at St Lawrence Academy), Nic Dakin (MP)
A Huge congratulations to St.Lawrence Academy who have achieved National Online Safety Certified Status.
Mike Adnitt, Principal at St Lawrence Academy said:
“The whole school community approach of National Online Safety has enabled us to easily equip everyone to make informed choices when online. We have found people who were previously hard to engage have become real ambassadors for online safety. That’s testament to the relative ease of access to the training provided.”
45% of 11-16 year-olds are aware of Skin Betting.
Are you?
Skin betting and gambling has become more prevalent over the last few years and the number of instances is rising. ‘Skins’ are cosmetic elements in a game (such as clothing) which do not affect the success of a game. Skins can be earned, traded and bought with real money. BUT there are also opportunities for players to gamble their skins with the hopes of winning more valuable ones. ‘Skin betting’ is addictive and is also an easy way to lose money, fast.

Want to learn more? Take a look at our online safety course for school staff here:
Attention DSLs! We have a new CPD accredited Online Safety course for you
National Online Safety has launched the CPD Accredited Designated Safeguarding Lead online course which is available through our online hub. This course has been developed in line with the proposed changes to the DfE ‘Keeping Children Safe in Education’ guidance, which states that DSLs (and Deputy DSLs) “are able to understand the unique risks associated with online safety and be confident that they have the relevant knowledge and up to date capability required to keep children safe whilst they are online at school or college”.
The online course will help you to understand online risks faced by children, your statutory obligations and how to support children and parents with navigating the online world. Click here to find out more and enrol on the course:
Please note: If you already have access to the NOS Certified Community package then you will be able to access the course through your learning portal.
Does social media accelerate gang culture?
Earlier in the in the month, Met Chief Commissioner Cressida Dick associated social media with the rise of knife crime in the UK amongst children –  she named, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram for the rising problems. Does social media help to accelerate gang culture? We asked our Online Safety Expert, Fay Morris to comment:
Online abuse and disabled people
Businesswoman and model Katie Price has campaigned for an investigation into the online abuse and experiences of disabled people. The House of Commons select committee debate on the 24th April included the impact of online abuse for people with disabilities and support for victims of online abuse. You can watch the petitions committee meeting here:
What has your school done for Online Safety this month?
We are always keen to hear from schools about your online safety journey. Has your school taken part in online safety activities that you would like to shout about? Have you held any assemblies, or have any of your pupils done anything outstanding in regards to online safety that you want to share with us? If so, we would love to hear from you! Please contact with information and we will publish your stories in next month’s newsletter.
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