Web Safety. white tablet computer on top of newspaper. Photo by Matthew Guay on Unsplash

This month’s prevent bulletin is about web safety

Momo is sending the internet in to a frenzy!

Do you monitor what your children look at online? Momo is a sinister challenge that has been around for a while but has recently resurfaced, disturbing children around the country. Momo has been given the name “suicide killer game” and has been heavily linked with apps, such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and YouTube. The doll like figure that is used, has reportedly sent violent images and messages to children encouraging them to take part in dangerous challenges, including self harm or harming others.

Schools around the country are encouraging parents to speak to their children about positive and negative things that can be found on the internet and how to respond to this correctly. They are encouraging parents to be calm and have discussions with their children but not to spread panic, as children will obviously be disturbed by the image that is being used online.

It is important that these discussions take place so that your children feel listened to, if they are frightened it is important that they are able to share these feelings with you so that you can support them.

Things you can do as a parent:

  • Tighten up on your parental controls on all devices
  • Speak to your internet provider if you are unable to tighten parental controls
  • Have discussions with your children about what they are doing online, what they are looking at, what they enjoy looking at. These discussions will help you to highlight any potential concerns
  • If children are aware of the Momo image, it is important that you tell them that this isn’t a real person and can not directly harm them. Also tell your children to not go openly searching for this content online as it may only cause more distress.
  • If you have any concerns speak to us for further advice

What is an age appropriate App?

It is important that we are all kept safe online. People who are more vulnerable to abuse online need support to
ensure they are aware of apps they can and can’t use and if they are using them how they can do this positively.

A lot of young people will use the following four apps, they are extremely common but can also be very dangerous
and exploit young people if they aren’t used properly.

  • Facebook– requires the individual to be at least 13 years of age before creating an account
  • Snapchat– requires the individual to be at least 13 years of age before creating an account
  • Instagram – requires the individual to be at least 13 years of age before creating an account
  • WhatsApp – requires the individual to be at least 16 years of age before creating an account

On the internet there are loads of different apps available to young people that are more age appropriate, you can
find out more information about this by visiting www.internetmatters.org

When looking at creating a profile online with your child, have a discussion as a family and make this decision
together – talk about why they want the account and ensure that any family members using social media know
what tools are available to help them stay safe.

Related links

The offline version of this Prevent bulletin can be found here

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