Online Safety Update 23rd April 2019

Digital Ghost Stories; Impact, Risks and Reason

Hopefully we’ve seen the last of the latest so-called challenge, the one that starts with M and ends with O. By now, hopefully everyone knows that it was a hoax. Prof. Andy Phippen is a Professor of Social Responsibility in IT at University of Plymouth. Together with Emma Bond, who is the Professor of Socio-Technical Research at University of Suffolk, they have put together a report looking a little deeper into the challenge along with clear, pragmatic advice and guidance for schools, local authorities etc. You can take a look at the report HERE.

Jumbo – privacy assistance app

Privacy online is a huge concern for many, not just for safeguarding reasons, there are plenty others, but if you use lots of apps managing the privacy in all of them separately can be a real pain. It used to be the advice a few years ago to check your privacy settings often, particularly Facebook (at the time) as it seemed that every time the app was updated one or more of your privacy settings had been knocked out. However, over the last few years this hasn’t been the case at all, but it is still a good idea to check every now and again.

Jumbo is a brand new app which supposedly helps you with this. Available on both Android (coming soon) and Apple devices it apparently manages privacy on 4 platforms at the moment – Twitter, Facebook, Google Search and Amazon’s Alexa. Hopefully more will be coming soon to make this really useful, but it is being reported that Instagram and Tinder are coming soon. I downloaded the app a few minutes before typing this so haven’t had a chance to look at it properly yet, I’ll go into more depth in next week’s DITTO, but for now you can view an article about the app HERE

Online Harms – White Paper

We’ve been waiting for this paper for some time from the Government. If you’ve been seeing reports in the media for the last 6 months or so regarding what the government are considering doing about fining social media companies, establishing a UK regulator, a duty of care (aimed at tech companies) and so much more, this paper is what the media outlets have been referring to. 

The paper is a consultation which closes at the end of July, quote “our challenge as a society is to help shape an internet that is open and vibrant but also protects its users from harm” unquote and quote “This White Paper puts forward ambitions plans for a new system of accountability and oversight for tech companies, moving far beyond self-regulation” unquote.

This is huge, it is the biggest leap any country has ever taken and the rest of the world are going to be watching us in the UK very carefully. I’ll keep you updated as I find out more, but you can read the white paper executive summary HERE and the full paper (100 pages) HERE. I will try to summarize tis and give my own thoughts next week.

Game – Apex Legends

Before the Easter holidays, as I was travelling round the UK to schools, I was starting to see a slight decline in the most popular game out there at the moment, Fortnite. Although it has a long way to go to catch up, Apex Legends is similar in many ways to Fortnite and I’m already seeng a significant shift. It will be interesting to see how much that has increased when I start visiting schools again this week. 

If you have no idea what Apex Legends is, you can read a brief summary in The Guardian newspaper HERE.

4 in 5 Parents Concerned About Children’s Exposure to Adult Content

South West Grid for Learning, the lead partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, have released a new report exploring the use of technology in the home. Amongst other things, the reports finds:

  • 4 in t parents are concerned about exposure to adult content, bullying and grooming.
  • Parents make use of a range of technical measures and parenting approaches to manage online risks.


  • Young people are likely to turn to their parents for help – until they reach teenage years.
  • As they get older, young people become more confident about bypassing technical house rules (bypassing restrictive technology).