Online Safety Weekly Update – 28th Jan 2019

The online safety information I share here are just a few snippets of things I have found or been made aware of over the last week. If you would prefer to receive this update in your email on a Monday morning, please sign up to the free DITTO magazine at the bottom of the page as I use the same email list for both.

Classroom Resources
The Office of the eSafety Commissioner (Australia) has got some wonderful classroom resources for primary and secondary schools to use on a whole range of online safety and digital citizenship topics. You can see the resources HERE.

Online Safety App (Internet Matters)
Aimed at children ages 8-10, this has been around for about a year but it’s worth sending the link out to your parents just in case they’re not aware. The app looks to take the parent/carer and the child through a range of 9 different online safety subjects and questions together, which each person answers individually. Its strength is that it opens up dialogue between the adult and child. See HERE for further information.

Battle Royale
Whilst Fortnite is the game that everyone seems to be talking about, the game ‘mode’ you need to be aware of is ‘Battle Royale’. This is the aspect that pitches you against many other users: a fight to the death. Battle Royale mode in games is starting to become pretty popular; a few months ago we had Call of Duty 4 Black Ops 4 which introduced a Battle Royale mode, and now, one of the biggest selling games (18 rated) around the world is Red Dead Redemption 2 which has just released a Battle Royale mode. See HERE for more info.

Digital Wellbeing Apps
Most Apple device users will be aware of the Wellbeing app; the notification that comes up once a week to guilt trip you about how you much (in terms of time) you have been using your device. The same facility has been on Android for a while but for limited Android devices. There’s a new app for Android called ActionDash; it’s very similar but can be used on a greater range of devices. Personally I’m not a fan of these things; wellbeing has got very little to do with how much time you’re spending on your device, but that’s a personal opinion and it would be wrong of me not to share the information with you. You can read more about the ActionDash app HERE.

Data Breaches
These are nothing new, data breaches are becoming frighteningly common. However, last week a new list of personal details was found containing approx. 2.7 billion records, including email addresses and passwords. This is something that can affect every one of us, children and adults alike. You can read more about this breach on the Wired website HERE and I would strongly recommend you advise everybody to check their individual usernames and email addresses on the Have I Been Pwned website HERE, and make it a regular occurrence.

Integrating Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger
Personally, I find it horrifying that Facebook are looking at integrating these 3 services together. From a privacy perspective this is huge and I hope the Data Commissioners around the world are keeping a very close eye on this. It’s too early to predict online safety concerns as there aren’t any details of the scope and functionality but I’ll keep you updated when I know more. See HERE for further information.

Images of CSA
Early last week the Internet Watch Foundation, based in Cambridgeshire, released their interim results for 2018 on the amount of web sites and images identified/removed containing CSA. Every year this seems to get bigger and whilst it is warming to see that virtually all of these were hosted outside the UK, it is disturbing to see that the majority are hosted elsewhere around the world by image hosting companies who give no due regard to this type of material. The full report is coming out in April 2019 but you can view the interim statistics in a blog post HERE.

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