Keep your family safe online this Safer Internet Day with this round-up of online safety-conscious apps…
Coordinated in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day (#SID2017) sees hundreds of organisations come together every year to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people. This year’s theme is ‘Be the change: Unite for a better internet’, so we’ve rounded up a bunch of tip-top apps to help you do just that…
Digital Parenting Magazine| Online, FREE
Looking for a way to start that all-important conversation about social media, gaming and other online activities with your son or daughter? Every year Vodafone releases a new edition of homegrown Digital Parenting Magazine. It’s packed with with information about bullying, peer pressure, screen time and, what’s more, it’s completely free! Read the latest edition online or download the pdf.
GoBubble | iOS, Android, £2.99 per year (or free for schools)
Created by a team of dedicated teachers, former police and social media specialists, GoBubble is billed as the ultimate safe and secure social media network for children under 13. While the minimum age for a Facebook account is 13, many younger children admit to using social media at least once a day. GoBubble aims to overcome this by providing a safe space for children to chat, send photos and share videos under the watchful eye of parents and teachers – sans the nasty cyber-bullying, unwanted friend requests and questionable content.
You might remember this one from blog post last year. Stay Safe Online is a collaboration between The Scout Association (UK), the Vodafone Foundation, Sponge UK and We Are Digital, and it aims to build digital resilience in six to ten years olds through a series of fun mini-games. Children choose their characters and race against the clock, traversing topics such as what to share online, the ups and downs of online friendships, and where to turn for further help.
DigiDuck’s Big Decision | iOS, Android, FREE
DigiDuck has a decision to make when he receives an embarrassing photo of his friend Proud Pig. Will he send it on for his pals to have a laugh, or stop the cycle and be a good friend? Narrated by singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and her mum, former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis, this interactive story app teaches children the importance of being a good online friend. Aimed at children aged three to seven, it presents a great message in a charming way, and helps start the conversation about being responsible in the digital space.
TechSafe | iOS, Android, FREE
Designed by a group of savvy 7-13 years olds, the TechSafe app turns children into teachers. Aimed at parents and caregivers, this app contains beautifully illustrated internet safety information including resources, information, and practical tips to help keep you and your family safe and sound in the digital world.
Are you up to speed with the intricacies of Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and more? School up with NetAware. This handy app by NSPCC provides a simple guide to the most popular social networks, apps and games, as well as up-to-date reviews from parents and children. Its straightforward approach helps you untangle the web to aid in your parenting – online and off.
Privacy Camp | iOS, Android, FREE
Because our lives are increasingly played out online, this app helps parents talk about the importance of privacy. Featuring five fun videos designed for children aged 5-13, it covers of the need for privacy, how to stay safe online, and how to be good online citizens, providing kids with the ability to answer questions and earn stars as they go.
Kudos | iOS, Android, FREE
Kudos is the safer alternative to Instagram, completely ad-free and customised for kids. Profiles are closed to ensure only accepted friends have access to a user’s photos, likes are anonymous, comments and tagging are disabled, parents and caregivers can moderate content, and full names are used to promote responsible and happy sharing.
LEGO lovers will adore the newly launched LEGO Life – a safety-conscious social network built specifically for kids. It’s a place for sharing builds, obtaining ideas and interacting with other LEGO fans, but you’ll find no profile pics here. Anyone under 13 must be signed up by their parent, usernames are randomly assigned and comments are limited to a select range of positive emojis. Users are also unable to upload photos featuring faces or any identifying features, with content carefully moderated by the LEGO Life monitoring team.
Speaking of emojis, this Safer Internet Day, the UK Safer Internet Centre will be sharing their top safety tips on social media in emoji format, and they’re encouraging others to do so too. Share yours using #SID2017 and @UK_SIC to join the conversation and unite for a better internet.
Find out more about keeping your family safe online… with Scouts and the Digital Parenting Magazine.