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Online safety guides - #WakeUpWednesday

The #WakeUpWednesday campaign is viewed as one of the most trusted and reputable learning resources in the UK, providing expert advice on the latest platforms and online risks that parents and carers need to know about through a beautifully engaging and content-rich design. A new guide is released every Wednesday.

All guides are available in PDF form below:

 

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Monkey Online video calling with random strangers 🔞😨 It’s hardly a new internet phenomenon – but the recent demise of Omegle has prompted the creation of several similar platforms bidding to fill the vacuum. One such contender is Monkey – a service that randomly connects its users for video calls, using their mobile numbers and Snapchat account details 🐒

Monkey has surged in popularity since Omegle’s shutdown in November 2023: visits to the site more than doubled within a month and have been climbing steadily ever since. Regrettably, it also seems that Monkey suffers from many of the same pitfalls as its notorious predecessor – our #WakeUpWednesday guide highlights these possible risks to young people in more detail. 

What Parents and Carers Need to Know about Persuasive Design Online

Apps and sites are all competing for our attention 📢👀 Over the years, numerous strategies have been developed which are intended to influence users’ behaviour – making us more likely to remain on a site, game or platform for longer periods of time. These techniques are known as ‘persuasive design’ and can have a particularly profound effect on children and young people 😳

Despite these tactics’ evident effectiveness, there are still plenty of ways to help prevent yourself (and your child) from being psychologically swayed. This week’s #WakeUpWednesday guide breaks down the potential risks posed by persuasive design online – and offers some top tips for recognising and reducing its impact on young people’s decision making.

 

MYLOL

The #1 teen dating website in the world” 🤔😲 That’s the claim of MyLOL, which offers 13 to 19-year-olds the chance to rate each other’s pics, send private messages and contact strangers online. If that sets your alarm bells ringing, you’re far from alone: law enforcement agencies and schools in several countries have seen fit to issue warnings about the platform 

Among the main issues is the fact that MyLOL doesn’t have a reliable age verification method – meaning there’s no foolproof way to stop anyone outside the platform’s intended 13–19 audience signing up for an account under a false age. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide also highlights potential concerns around in-app purchases and the use of geolocation for sinister reasons.  

 

 

Smartphone Safety Tips

One in three 8-year-olds in Britain own a smartphone 📱 and that proportion rises to more than 90% by the time children reach 12 📈 This concerted increase – driven by factors both personal (blossoming independence) and practical (the transition to secondary school) – makes it all the more valuable for young people to know how to use such devices safely.

Indeed, more than half of parents (52%) surveyed by Ofcom admitted to worrying about their child being bullied via their mobile phone – and with hazards like scams, screen addiction and inappropriate content to consider, that’s far from the only risk around. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week pulls together some simple but solid smartphone safety tips 

 

 

 

Five Nights at Freddies - Are you ready for Freddy? 🐻🔦 To chime with Hallowe’en, this week sees the release of a cinematic adaptation of Five Night’s at Freddy’s (FNaF) – a suspenseful series of horror games which, despite their 12+ age rating, have gained significant popularity with younger children.

With one gaming journalist describing the franchise’s original entry as “hands down … the most terrifying game I have played in my life”, FNaF blends an unsettling atmosphere with jump scares and creepy characters. Read our #WakeUpWednesday guide to below find out more … if you dare!

 

 

 

 

EA Sports FC 24 - What's the most prolific partnership in recent football history? 🤔 Son and Kane? ❌ Ronaldo and Benzema? ❌ How about EA and FIFA? Their collaboration produced the most popular sports video game series of all time, with 325 million copies sold worldwide.

EA Sports FC 24 – the makers’ new solo offering – now hopes to emulate FIFA’s legendary success. While it’s almost certain to hit the back of the net in commercial terms, does it keep a clean sheet against FIFA’s traditional online safety risks? Find out in today’s #WakeUpWednesday guide.