A new mobile application called Kuddle is introducing a safer way for kids to get introduced to social media, while still under a parent’s watchful eye. The photo-sharing app, which is like a more restricted version of Instagram, allows children to post and share photos with friends in a protected environment, safe from cyberbullying or unwanted connections from strangers.
Founded in March by a team of Norway-based developers and designers, all with kids of their own, the idea was prompted by co-founder and CEO Ole Vidar Hestaas’s experience raising his children. His 7-year old son wanted to be on Instagram, like his older sister was, but of course that’s not allowed…or, frankly, a good idea at that age.
After looking for an app designed with the safety and security needs of children and parents in mind, and not finding anything at all, he decided to build one.
The app is designed from the ground-up to offer a safer environment than something like Instagram. Children have to input their parent’s email at sign-up, but can begin to use the app right away. However, their photos can’t be viewed or seen by others until the parent approves the account via the email they receive.
Afterwards, parents are notified every time a child posts a photo and every time they add a friend. (Because children don’t have their own Facebook account and friend list, they search for friends by name.)
In addition, photos will appear only in approved friends’ feeds, and are not geo-tagged so as not to reveal a child’s location.
Though based in Norway, the app is COPPA-compliant, a U.S. regulation related to software and services designed for children. Children aren’t marketed to, and their info isn’t shared.
Understanding what children do online and the risks they face will help you keep your child safe. Here are some resources that you may find useful.
Social Networking sites are among the fastest growing phenomena on the Internet. Among the most popular social networking sites are Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. All of them provide a excellent way to stay in touch with family and friends; sharing photographs and videos, comments or even playing online games. If used carelessly, however, they can expose you and your children to dangers.
A new craze is hitting the streets, it can be fun but can also lead to bullying and friendship issues- Snapchat Streak.
Find out more by watching this video.
Kids can be so addicted to maintaining their Snapchat streaks that they ask friends to be their “Snapchat Sitters” and post for them if they are away from a wifi conection on holiday!
The NSPCC have developed a site where you can check which social networking sites your child uses and whether it is safe or not. Visit: www.net-aware.org.uk
For more information visit: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents
What Apps Social Media Parent Handout
We have compiled a list of some of the big hitters in social media and their risks. Please be aware that this list is by no means complete and will be constantly evolving. We hope it gives you a starting point .
Click here to download the pdf
Instagram is a popular social network that every parent needs to be aware of. Instagram is a photo editing and sharing ‘app’ that allows users to edit photos taken on their phone and post them to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the click of a button. Instagram photos are open to the public by default and Instagram lets users browse public photos posted by others and by people whom they follow.
This Socially Active website has lots of information about Instagram that you may find useful.
Technology gives our children more ways to connect, socialise, and communicate with each other than ever before. Unfortunately, some young people use email, Instant Messaging, and mobile phone photos and text messages to embarrass or bully others. Children’s digital messages can also be edited to change the meaning then forwarded to others to embarrass, intimidate, or insult.
38% of young people have been affected by bullying online, through social networking websites or mobile phones.
For more information visit Kidscape.org
Games are heading online now more than ever. Everything from Tetris to football games can be played online and against other human opponents rather than computer controlled opponents. Players can usually communicate with one another; perhaps using onscreen messaging which is typed during the game play or some games allow voice communication so that players can swap their thoughts freely via a headset whilst competing just like having a telephone conversation.
Today’s games consoles can be a great way to bring the family together. Whether it’s bowling on the Nintendo Wii or Fifa on the XBox 360, families can be involved in activity to develop communication and relationships.The very best gaming is safe gaming – which means games should be played responsibly.
The ideal way to ensure that your children and teenagers are playing the right games, and playing sensibly, is to take an active interest in what they are playing, whether your children play on games a PC, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or Sony PlayStation.
Download a useful parent sheet to give you the low down on online gaming.
Online gaming can be a fun way for kids to connect with others, but it’s important for them to understand the risks and know how to handle certain situations.
Games foster creativity and interaction and can play an important role in social, physical and intellectual development
Games often require children to obey rules and follow directions, thus increasing their capacity for self-discipline and autonomy
Games can help to introduce newcomers to technology and foster interest in ICT
Puzzles, adventures and quests offer opportunities for players to develop strategic thinking and problem-solving skills
And of course they are FUN
One of the issues of computer gaming is that young people can become addicted to the games that they play
Download a useful parent sheet to give you the low down on game addiction.
Age ratings are systems used to ensure that entertainment content, such as films, videos, DVDs, and computer games, are clearly labelled for the age group for which they are most suitable. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers (particularly parents) to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product.
Pan European Game Information (PEGI) is a European video game content rating system established to help European consumers make informed decisions on buying computer games with logos on games’ boxes.
Click here for more info
For more information about online gaming visit: www.askaboutgames.com
There have been several high profile studies investigating the link between violent media content and childhood aggression.
Here is a link violent games that you may find interesting.
So what exactly is the dark web?
The internet is actually made up of three different layers: the surface web, the deep web and the dark web.
Tor was originally set up in the mid-1990s and offers anonymous browsing to people across the world. It now hosts roughly 30,000 hidden sites. Users in countries with strict censorship laws can use it to access mainstream sites and exchange information securely. However, contrary to its principles of privacy and security, this same anonymity has also enabled it to hide some of the most serious crimes on the Internet.
Not many people access the deep web, for at least one of these reasons:
1. They do not know it exists yet (which you now know if you have read up to this point).
2. They do not know how to get access to it.
3. They know how dangerous the Deep Web is.
The Dangerous Part of the Dark Web
There is a darker part of the Internet inside the Deep Web that does not just allow people to access private information, but also contains some of the worst things on the Internet. This includes things like child pornography websites, videos of beheadings, and online communities that promote black markets for illegal drugs.
Needless to say, there’s a reason why it is the deepest and most dangerous part of the Internet and why search engines make this type of content ‘invisible’ to the mainstream public. However, we cannot pretend it’s not there. We need to find ways to raise awareness about this section of the Internet to protect children from being lured to this section of the Web,
Accessing it requires a unique browser called TOR, and enables users to browse anonymously and visit extremely disturbing content as well as purchase contraband, illegal drugs, etc.
Parents need to check their kids PC’s, laptops, tablets, and smart phones for the TOR browser. If your child has this browser, they are exposing themselves to dangerous, extremely disturbing, and illegal content.
Check out these links for more information:
You will need Adobe Reader to open some of these files. Click the link below to download.
The 11th Safer Internet Day will be celebrated worldwide on Tuesday 11 February 2014. The theme for the day is: “Let’s create a better internet together”. We hope that all schools will join with us in marking the day and enter our competition to show how working together can help build a better internet for all, but particularly children and young people.
Our competition is open to South Tyneside Primary and Secondary schools. There are 3 age categories – for children in either Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3.
All entries must be made using ICT technology, for example a video, podcast or animation.
Entries may be submitted by individuals or by teams.
Fantastic prizes will be awarded in each age range.
Entries may be submitted by post to the ICT in Schools Team or via e-mail to email@example.com by:
4pm on Friday 21st March 2014.
As part of the competition all entries will be hosted online.
All entrants must have permission for their work to be displayed in this way.
For more information go to:
Download the entry form here: