Urgent e-safety announcement
The app is called ‘Monkey’ and allows user to make video calls to strangers. Once a conversation is finished, the user clicks next and it will then connect them with a different user which could be someone from anywhere in the world. The website states that users must be 18 plus but there is no age verification meaning anyone could download it. If users use the website from a desktop, they don’t need an account to sign in and chat to people, but users of the app will. The app is currently only available on android devices. It is designed to attract children- Everything, from the name, to the graphics on the platform suggest this is created to attract children. In Google Play Store, its description reads ‘Make friends and chat to celebrities’ and the app has copied TikTok’s vertical style video feed. The location of each user is shared publicly (country and town/city) and there is no option to block this. You cannot use the app/website without having your camera on. There are screenshots of Monkey on Instagram as well as Monkey having their own TikTok account meaning young people may be driven to the site.
West Oaks School works with staff, pupils and parents / carers to create a school community which values the use of new technologies in enhancing learning, encourages responsible use of ICT, and follows agreed policies to minimise potential e-safety risks.
We discuss, monitor and review our e-safety policy on a regular basis, linking it with other relevant policies such as Safeguarding, Pupil Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies. We support staff in the use of ICT as an essential tool for enhancing learning and in the embedding of e-safety across the whole school curriculum.
We ensure that pupils are aware of the potential e-safety risks associated with the use of ICT and mobile technologies, that pupils feel able and safe to report incidents and abide by the school’s e-safety policy.
We provide opportunities for parents/carers to receive e-safety education and information, to enable them to support their children in developing good e-safety behaviour.
If you would like any specific information about online safety (Use of particular apps etc). Please contact Anna Stevens (Safeguarding and Pupil Welfare Manager) [email protected]
For further information on online safety for your child please click on the following link:
- Think U Know – containing internet safety advice for those aged from 5 to 16, along with parents and teachers, this site is produced by CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)..
- https://www.internetmatters.org/ Get expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly.
- Kidsmart – An award-winning internet safety programme for children.
- Know IT All – lots of useful advice for keeping yourselves and your children safe on the Internet
You should set up parental control on all the devices that your child uses. This includes those devices that belong to other family members when your child uses them. Setting parental controls will help to keep your child safe while they are online by:
- Blocking inappropriate content
- Limiting in-app purchases
- Managing which apps children are allowed to download.
You can set up parental controls on individual devices and on your home WiFi. Most service providers will offer free parental control services and will help you to activate this if you contact them.
You should also activate the privacy settings on each app that your child uses, as well as ensuring that location sharing is ‘off’ on their device.
Talking to your child about staying safe online
Parental controls and security settings are not 100% accurate and are no substitute for open and honest conversations with your child. It’s important to explain, especially to younger children, what is meant by ‘inappropriate,’ by using language they will understand. Make sure they know that if something they see online upsets them or makes them worried, then they should always come to you.
Regularly have open and honest conversations about:
- What they are doing online and who they are talking to.
- Remind them of the importance of not talking to or accepting friend requests from people they don’t know in real life.
- Encourage them to keep all personal information such as passwords, phone numbers, friend, school address details private.
- Remind them that people might not be who they say they are online. It is very easy for people to set up accounts, with fake names, identities and photos, to make us all believe that they are someone they are not.
- Warn them that the things they write and the photos they post online might be accessed by people other than their friends, if they don’t keep their accounts private.
- Highlight the risks of meeting people in person that your child only knows online. Meeting people in real life, that children and young people only know from being online, can pose many risks and children and young people should be encouraged to be open and honest with you or a trusted adult, if someone is asking to meet up with them in real life. (This can be very dangerous and children and young people should be encouraged to tell their parents or an adult they trust, if someone is asking to meet them.)
If you’re thinking about buying your child a games console, but are unsure how to keep your child safe online, Xbox and Playstation have both created apps for parents and carers that will give you peace of mind. The apps give you access to everything your child is doing online and who they are talking to.
Both of these apps are available from your app store on both Android and Apple mobiles.
The Xbox Family Settings app lets the organisers (adults) in a family group manage their kids’ gaming activities from their iOS and Android phones. The app enables you to feel secure about your child playing online.
The Xbox app allows you to:
- Receive messages sent to your child
- Listen in on conversations they are having
- Add or delete friend requests
- Set child restrictions
The PlayStation app allows you to:
- Set age restrictions
- Manage how long your child plays each day
- Receive messages sent to your child
- Set multiple layers of passcode protection
How to report an online concern
If something has happened to your child online you can make a report to the National Crime Agency for Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP). CEOP helps keep children and young people safe from sexual abuse and grooming online, as well as their parents and carers.
You should always report if your child is or has been in contact with someone who is:
- Chatting online to your child about sex
- Asking them to do sexual things on webcam
- Asking to meet up if they’ve only met them online
- Requesting sexual pictures
- Forcing them into sexual activity
- Making them feel unsafe
For information and guidance for parents of children and young people who have got in trouble online see the Parents Protect website.