Mobile Device Apps - E-safety concerns

As you are aware the North Yorkshire Safeguarding Children Board has been active it promoting e safety. Recently it has been brought to our attention that there has been e-safety incidents involving primary age children from North Yorkshire and neighbouring authorities. Whilst incidents did not take place during school time we would like to bring this matter to your attention so you can raise awareness with your staff and parents.

The incidents have highlighted a number of safeguarding issues raised recently about apps on mobile devices including, ooVoo, and amongst others.  These apps are supposed to only be able to access contacts on the user’s phones, but it appears that unknown individuals are able to join group chats. Therefore, these apps are not safe for children to use as there is a significant risk of inappropriate contact by unknown individuals.

In light of the issue above, schools may be contacted by concerned parents / carers.  Our advice for schools is for them to advise parents to ensure that their children do not have access to such apps on their phone and to check that all appropriate privacy settings are switched on, to make sure that children are protected when using any internet site. If a child experiences or expresses concerns about online activity, it must be reported to the police using 101 and/or  Wherever possible, a screen shot or a mobile phone picture of the concern should be taken for reporting purposes.

In addition you will also find details about e-safety on our website with useful guides for parents and carers as well as a link to Key Stage appropriate resources


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