E-Safety - A Guide for Parents

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e-Safety for Parents

Message about Telegram from Merseyside Police

I have recently had a query about ‘Telegram’, which is an app which has been linked to offending (OCG/gang/group/drugs activity) it is an end to end encrypted messaging app that is very popular.  Similar to Signal and Wickr. 

Signal is a cross-platform encrypted instant messaging service developed by the Signal Technology Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC. Users can send one-to-one and group messages, which can include files, voice notes, images and videos. It can also be used to make one-to-one and group voice and video calls, and the Android version can optionally function as an SMS app.

Signal also allows users to set timers to messages.  After a specified time interval, the messages will be deleted from both the sender's and the receivers' devices. The time interval can be between five seconds and one week long, and the timer begins for each recipient once they have read their copy of the message.  

Nicola Taylor
D/Con PVP Level 2
INV PVPU North | CE Team

Warning about MoMo 'suicide game'


Message about Snapchat from Merseyside Police

I am based at Marsh Lane CID and receive numerous incidents on a weekly basis involving Snapchat. As you are no doubt aware, children are sending images of themselves to each other which then make their way to a variety of Snapchat accounts entitled Crocky Slags, Sefton Slags and various other variations.

Unfortunately, these are the vanity names (non- unique identifier set by the user as to how they will appear on Snapchat) and not the username of the account. Without the username it is impossible to either shut the account down or trace the user.

In order to try and reduce these accounts, I think that it would be worthwhile all schools ensuring that the children at their schools are aware of ways in which to report matters on Snapchat.

The link is https://support.snapchat.com/en-US/a/report-abuse-in-app.

Many thanks

Alan Williams

Detective Sergeant Marsh Lane CID
Direct Line Tel:+441517776274
Mobile 07912512678

Force Website: www.merseyside.police.uk

Force Twitter @merseypolice

New Fortnite Guide for Parents & Carers

As part of the #WakeUpWednesday campaign, National Online Safety has teamed up with MusicAlternative to launch a Fortnite online safety song, which encourages parents and carers to "stay switched on" to online dangers when their children are playing Fortnite. Please click on the Youtube link below


National Online Safety Roblox Guide for Parents

Roblox is a multi-player online gaming platform which allows children to play and create a variety of games in a 3D world. Roblox is free to play and available on all modern smartphones, tablets, desktops, Xbox One, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive.


Teenagers are EATING Tide pods in dangerous social media challenge

Teenagers are filming themselves chewing and sometimes swallowing Tide pods and then posting the videos online daring others to participate in the potentially deadly challenge.

See article.

‘Sarahah’ Warning for Parents

As you will be aware there are a number of anonymous messaging and feedback apps.  Within the last month, one such app has reached the top rankings within the app store as the most downloaded app. ‘Sarahah’ (Arabic for ‘candor’, ‘openness’ or ‘honesty’) has become popular with US teenagers and has been gaining popularity with users in the UK.

What is Sarahah?

Sarahah originally started out as a website intended for employees to give anonymous feedback to their employers. According to the app’s website – ‘Sarahah helps you in discovering your strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from your employees and your friends in a private manner’.

How it works?

Once the Sarahah app has been downloaded, users must create an account on the app. The user will create their name, ie name.sarahah.com. They can then search for other Sarahah users on the app and send anonymous text based messages. The main difference with this app compared to others is that users can only send messages – they cannot respond to messages received.

The app does offer some limited privacy features which allow users control over the following 2 options:

  • appear in search
  • receive messages from non–registered users

As with other anonymous apps, there is always the potential for apps of this nature to be misused in relation to bullying, harassment or abuse. Teenagers can also use the Snapchat ‘Paperclip’ feature to share links to their Sarahah profile, encouraging others to send them anonymous feedback.

Cyberbullying, unfortunately, is not a new phenomenon and it definitely did not start with Sarahah but the anonymous nature of the app does lend itself to nasty and hurtful comments. I would therefore advise that you speak to your child about this app and ensure their safety online.

Parents warned as teenagers join in 'sick' Facebook 'missing game'


Snapchat "Snap Map" Warning

Snapchat have introduced a new feature called Snap Map. This feature shows publicly posted images on a searchable map and allows users to see exactly where their ‘friends’ are in real time. The map is so accurate it can determine the house and street where people live.

  • Do you know all your ‘friends’ on Snapchat?
  • Would you like all your ‘friends’ to know where you are or where you live?

How to switch off Snap Map location sharing:

  • When in photo-taking mode, pinch the screen to open Snap Map
  • Touch the settings cog in the top right corner of the screen
  • Tap "Ghost Mode" to switch off location sharing

Photos and videos posted to Snapchat's public 'Our Story' will still be discoverable on the map.

Reminder to parents that to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), the minimum age for Snapchat use is 13.

Link: Police issue child safety warning over Snapchat maps update that reveals users' locations

Live.Me App - Information from Merseyside Police

Please see below information from Merseyside Police in regards to the Live.Me app. Also, NSPCC and O2 have teamed up to produce a guide to help parents explore and understand online life as children known it. The guide can be accessed via www.net-aware.org.uk


"Live.Me is the fastest-growing social media streaming application available at the moment and has approximately 20 million users.

It allows the user to live-stream videos of themselves and also allows users to watch other streamed videos.

The app has limited security features and it is possible for users to potentially identify the location where a video was recorded.

It is possible for any video to be recorded and shared without the permission or knowledge of the person who made the video.

Merseyside Police would encourage parents to make sure they know what apps their child is using, how each app works and what their child is using it for. Many legitimate apps are being used by young people in a way that allows them to communicate with or be contacted by absolute strangers. This creates a significant risk to their child.

It is really important that society becomes more aware of the possible risk of exploitation on mobile apps and social media sites, and people know how to report suspicious activity to the police.

Parents, guardians, carers and teachers have a responsibility to know what the warning signs are and to look out for them to prevent a child putting themselves at risk or forming inappropriate relationships online. There is a wealth of advice available online:




Online/Internet Safety - How to keep your child safe

As parents and carers of young people, the online world can confuse and worry us as our children grow up and become more independent online as well as in the real world.

How do you know that what they are doing is safe? What can I do, as a parent or carer, to help, support and guide them to ensure their online safety?

There are a number of excellent tips and advice available in helping your children stay safe online. Below are links to two sites that are especially helpful and informative.


Thinkuknow.co.uk is a website produced by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account. Their site covers areas such as:

  • What is my child doing online?
  • How do I talk to my child about what they're doing online?
  • What risks might my child face?
  • What tools are there to help me keep my child safe?




BBC Webwise

BBC Webwise contains some great information and advice with videos and document downloads that will help you look at:

  • Tools and controls that you can use across your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and some mobile operators
  • Parent guidance on social media
  • Top 10 online safety tips.


At Holy Family we teach internet safety through a specific unit in our Year 7 ICT curriculum and it is referred to throughout a number of ICT and Character and Culture lessons right the way through the school. We realise the importance of these issues and the worry that this can cause many parents and carers and we will always try to ensure that there are updates on these pages which can support you in this area.