Online Safety Weekly Update – 11th Oct 2023


  • Safer Internet Day 2024 – theme announced.
  • Secondary – sextortion on the rise.
  • Sexting guidance.
  • For parents – Fortnite guidance.
  • For parents – WhatsApp guide.

Safer Internet Day 2024 – Theme Announced

The theme for SID 2024 on 6th Feb has been announced by the UK Safer Internet Centre: “Inspiring change? making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online”.

Further details can be found HERE. UKSIC normally release resources for all year groups closer to the date, I will share these once they are released.

Secondary – Sextortion on the Rise

The Internet Watch Foundation has released concerning new stats in relation to young people who are increasingly being extorted online. Predominantly this appears to be older boys (14-17) with the IWF reporting that sextortion has increased by 257% in the first six months of 2023 compared to the whole of 2022. Often, offenders appear as younger females with fake profiles in order to lure, trick and coerce victims which can then have a devastating impact on the young person.

You can see the IWF announcement HERE and there is some useful information for young people and parents HERE. There is also a free video which I created (part of a bigger paid series) which you are welcome to show to students HERE.

Sexting Guidance

The UK Safer Internet Centre has updated their guidance for schools/colleges in relation to sexting. The web page briefly describes what sexting is, responding to disclosures, searching and viewing devices and involving others.

You can find the updated guidance HERE.

For Parents – Fortnite Guidance

Epic Games (which includes Fortnite, Fall Guys and Rocket League) provide some really useful features for parents to manage their child’s gaming experience. This includes ‘cabined accounts’  which are accounts where the child is under 13 and certain restrictions are applied by default, e.g. talking to other players. Given the popularity of these games it’s possible some parents aren’t aware of this feature so it may be worth sharing. You can find further details and instructions from Internet Matters HERE.

For Parents – WhatsApp Guide

Even though WhatsApp has an age restriction of 16+ I find it is the most popular messaging app from Y4/5 upwards. Over the last year or so WhatsApp have introduced new features so it may be worth sharing this updated guide with parents so that they can ensure the most appropriate settings are applied for their child. You can find the article/guide HERE.

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