Online Safety Weekly Update 20th Jan 2019

Chatting and Screensharing apps

There is a huge variety of these types of apps, two of which I will mention here.

The first is Houseparty – this has been around for a couple of years now and isn’t hugely popular, but I do talk to primary and secondary students that are using it in low numbers. Predominantly Houseparty is about live group video chat (nothing to do with house parties) and quite a few say they use this as they don’t have to worry about compatibility issues (e.g. Facetime). The developers are looking to make more money, and they are now introducing paid games into the app. The assumption is that this will keep existing users and generate new users.
See HERE for a little more information.

The second is Squad. This is a very new app which has the potential to become quite popular. In many ways it’s like Houseparty, group video chat, but intriguingly it also has the ability to sceenshare. In the words of Techcrunch, “You can browse memes together, trash talk about DMs or private profiles, brainstorm a status update, co-work on a project or get consensus on your Tinder swipe. It’s deceptively simple, but remarkably alluring.”
See HERE for more information.

Twitter Privacy.

If you are using Twitter in school or your staff are using Twitter personally it may be worth checking those privacy settings again. Twitter revealed last week that they had fixed a 4 year-old bug that exposed some users private messages. Twitter has stated that it has contacted all those affected, but better safe than sorry.
See HERE for more information.

Social media regulation needed to protect children

Professor Sonia Livingstone is one of my go-to people regarding good, clear, academic information and opinion in the world of online safety. She writes many blogs and articles and in one of her latest articles she discusses how social media needs to be designed better and the companies need to be regulated. I completely agree; whilst I think the stable door has crashed open and the horse has bolted off way into the distance, we should keep striving to do as much as we can to protect children.
You can read the article by Prof. Sonia Livingstone HERE.


Do you know what a meme is? Do your staff? Darren Laur is an ex law enforcement officer from Canada who now specialises in online safety. He is another one of my go-to people and writes terrific articles from a clear, pragmatic approach.
You can read the meme article and all of Darren’s other articles HERE.


A very important topic for obvious reasons. You may have seen a YouTube video about a tea cup (and if you haven’t you can view it HERE), but there’s also a song which older students may engage with better, at the very least to open up a discussion/debate about consent. You can see that video HERE.