How safe is your online profile?

I have been working with years 5 and 6, talking about how to make sure your online profile is secure. We began by looking at an image which shows the logos of the 20 most popular social media sites or apps. How many can you recognise?

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Most of the children were able to recognise at least half of the logos, and the vast majority use at least one of these services, with some using many more. We discussed the minimum age requirements for some of these apps. Interestingly, despite being users of many of the services, relatively few children were aware of the minimum age requirements. Most of them have a minimum age of 13 or older, meaning many children are using services they are too young to sign up for.

This prompted a discussion around what we should do. In an ideal world, all children would delete their profiles and only use age appropriate services, and this is an approach which I endorse. However, we need to accept that this is very unlikely to happen and very difficult to monitor for parents, let alone the school. So if children are using social media sites and despite our best efforts are likely to continue to do so, then the most responsible approach is to teach them how to use them safely and responsibly. Not only will this help in the short term, it will also prepare them for the challenges they are likely to face in the years ahead.

As a discussion prompt I shared this image of a fake social media profile (from teaching ideas.co.uk). The children annotated a copy of it with their thoughts on the problems a profile like this might present. This would be a great activity for you and your child to do together, you might even learn some tips to make your social media profile more secure.

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Below are a number of links to the UK Safer Internet Centre to help you support your child in staying safe on social media.

Facebook
Instagram
Musical.ly
Snapchat
Tumblr
Twitter
Youtube

There are also links to other social media guides from this page.

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