National Cyber Security Centre produces guide for small charities

The NCSC has published advice to help charities to protect themselves from the most common cyber attacks.

The guide covers 5 topics:

  • backing up your data
  • protecting your charity from malware
  • keeping your smartphones and tablets safe
  • using passwords to protect your data
  • avoiding phishing attacks

The guide is easy to understand and its recommendations cost little (or nothing) to implement.

Click here to visit the NCSC website to download the guide.

Top 10 Google searches of 2017

Google has released its Year in Search 2017 report which shows the top 10 most searched topics overall as well as the top 10 searches in 20+ categories.

Musicians and politicians featured heavily in last year’s top search terms, with both David Bowie and Prince appearing in the top 10 following their deaths. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the word election were also in the lower end of the top 10.

Actor Meghan Markle topped the top Google searches in the UK this year, followed by the iPhone 8 (second), Hurricane Irma (third) and the words fidget spinner (fourth), as the BBC reports. The term Manchester bombing was the fifth most searched term of the year, following the terror attack on an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena.

No musicians made it into the top UK Google searches, however Tom Petty and Chester Bennington were in the top 10 global searches. The Linkin Park frontman, who died in July, was the ninth most searched term worldwide, while Petty, who passed away in October, was the seventh.

Not only are the top 10 lists themselves interesting but there are also some things we can learn from them which can help bring more visitors to our websites.

Top 10 Searches Overall

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. iPhone 8
  3. Hurricane Irma
  4. Fidget Spinner
  5. Manchester bombing
  6. Grenfell Tower
  7. 13 Reasons Why
  8. Tara Palmer Tomkinson
  9. Shannon Matthews
  10. iPhone X

Some of the other top 10 lists Google provides include

  • Top10 people searched
  • Top 10 news stories searched
  • Top 10 consumer tech searches
  • Top 10 how to searches

You can see the rest of the lists in the Year in Search 2017.

Scarlett Moffatt has a selfie warning for young girls

Scarlett Moffatt, who came to fame through Gogglebox, is getting real about filtered pictures of women on social media.

The 2016 winner of I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here and now presenter of dating show Streetmate, posted two selfies side by side on Instagram showcasing two very different looks, along with a warning for young girls.

In one picture a natural-faced Scarlett smiles into the camera. The other shows the TV personality in full make-up with her features accentuated by a Snapchat filter.

She posted:

“To all all you young girls (and older ladies) out there don’t believe all you see on social media.  This goes to show what make-up and a filter can do. Love who you are and don’t compare yourself to anybody else. As Dr Seuss once said…. Today you are You, that is truer than true . There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”

The 27-year-old’s post has been liked more than 180,000 times on Instagram with many praising her decision to share the photos.

“You are such a great role model for young women. I am a mum of 2 girls and think it’s great seeing this, thanks,” commented one Instagram user.

Another mum who also responded to Ms Moffatt’s Instagram post commented: “Brilliant post… I’ve shown my 13-year-old daughter this … so important for our young girls to know what real life looks like and not life through a filter. Thank you.”

On Twitter there was similar reaction when the image was posted to Ms Moffatt’s Twitter page where the post has been liked almost 2,000 times.

Another tweet read: “Thank you – my daughters confidence is so low due to pressure from peers & her idols as they look ‘perfect’ – just shown her your tweet to inspire her!”

Others who were also inspired by the post shared their own make-up free selfies.

It’s not the first time celebrities have shared images on social media of themselves without make-up.

Holly Willoughby, Susanna Reid, and Kirstie Allsopp are just some of the other TV presenters who have posted make-up free images on Instagram.

The trend to post natural images is also popular among artists in the US. Celebrities stateside posting unfiltered photos include Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, and Cameron Diaz.

A popular hashtag often accompanying these make-up free images is #NoFilter, although model and TV presenter Tyra Banks warned in a post she shared in 2015 about the use of the term.

“You know how people say #nofilter but you know there’s a freakin’ filter on their pic? Or maybe there’s a smidge of retouching going on but they’re lying and saying it’s all raw & real? Well, this morn, I decided to give you a taste of the really real me,” she said in the post that has been liked more than 216,000 times.

Last year Star Wars actress Daisy Ridley also issued a warning about the pressure to look perfect on social media when she posted a photo and the words, “I woke up like this #nofilter #nomakeup” written on it.

She said: “Social media is great but also a bit scary ’cause what people post is the most filtered, most carefully chosen and cleverly edited moments of their lives.”

How To Shop Online Safely

Action for Fraud have released a very helpful infographic on How To Shop Online Safely in the run up to the Christmas present buying season:

Check the web address

Always check you’re on the correct website. Criminals can set up fake websites that have a similar design and web address to the genuine site.

  

Is it a secure connection?

Web pages you enter personal or financial details into should display a locked padlock sign and have a web address that starts with https. This means your connection to the website is secure.

 

Phishing

Don’t click on links or attachments within unsolicited emails. The number of online shopping related phishing emails increases significantly during the holiday period.

 

Bank transfers
65% of Action Fraud reports during the 2016 Christmas period were linked to online auction sites. Don’t pay for goods or services by bank transfer unless you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

NSPCC warns of ‘blurred boundaries’ between YouTube stars and fans

NSPCC warns of ‘blurred boundaries’ between YouTube stars and fans

“Blurred boundaries” between prominent YouTube stars and their young, often impressionable viewers can put young people at risk, the NSPCC has warned.

They have created a helpline for victims and have urged those who watch YouTube videos to:

  • Never share your personal information online
  • Do not accept friend requests from people you don’t know in real life
  • Have conversations with your parents about where you are going and what you are doing online

Many people have come forward in the last few years to accuse a wide range of YouTubers, ranging from popular big names like Toby Turner to smaller creators like Alex Carpenter. Most of these accusations have not resulted in criminal complaints, but they remain archived in the pages of internet history.

Emily Cherry, of the NSPCC, told the BBC in an interview that YouTubers have a “responsibility” to make sure relationships with young fans are appropriate.

Ms Cherry warned that online stars have huge power and influence on young people and the way they think about the real world.  She told BBC Radio 5 live:

“One child told me that checking their social media accounts and what their favourite YouTube stars are up to was as important to them as eating”

If young people have been affected by any issues or need advice on staying safe online, on protecting your children, or as an Internet personality, the NSPCC has a helpline you can call on 0808 800 500 2.

8 Reasons to Rethink Teens & Sexting

megan-maasMegan Maas has written a blog on 8 Reasons to Rethink Teens & Sexting for the Huffington Post.  Here’s a few snippets from the blog which are essential reading for any youth worker:

… In order for us to address sexting in a realistic way with teens, we must first understand the sexual culture they live in that normalizes sexting.

1. Teens think everyone is sexting and it’s no big deal. 

2. Boys and girls engage in sexting for different reasons. Girls feel pressure to send sexts and are more likely to do so than boys. Boys feel more pressure to collect sexts and are more likely to receive sexts and share them with friends or post them online than girls. This poses an issue because it sets up a type of marketplace, where the boys are the consumers and the girls are the products to be consumed …

3. The sexual double standard is alive and well in sexting. We think nothing of a boy requesting a nude image or video, but when a girl participates, we think something is wrong with her …

4. Sexting can be a sign of self-objectification

5. We have a victim blaming culture, even when it comes to sexting. When I do educational seminars about sex and technology with parents and teachers, I overwhelmingly hear stories of “sexting scandals”. Usually followed by a, “Why would she send a nude photo of herself in the first place? Something must be wrong with her.”

6. We need to redefine female sexual liberation

7. We need to support girls to foster their own talents and abilities in multiple areas of life, and encourage boys to support them too. You don’t want your teen to sext? Try telling them not to do it. That didn’t work you say? Shocking. It’s important for parents of boys to acknowledge the pressure girls feel to prove they are sexy and to encourage them to recognize girls’ interests, talents and knowledge above their looks whenever possible. For parents of girls, it’s important to focus on their abilities and not just their looks or dress from a young age. It’s not that it is bad for teen girls to express sexuality, it’s just that we don’t want their only dose of daily self-esteem boost to come from a sexy selfie because her sexual worth is her only worth.

8. We need to hold boys and men accountable for their actions, they are capable of not acting on sexual impulses. 

Are tablets good for children?

dad-with-daughter-tablet

The Guardians of Ancora blog recently highlighted a BBC article

There’s no question that tablet computers have swept into children’s lives in the past couple of years. But is this good, bad or neutral?

‘Parents,’ says the BBC iWonder website, ‘sometimes worry that time spent playing on screen devices may be stunting important development in areas such as social and communication skills. However, as devices and technology have evolved to be more intuitive and creative, they have opened up a world of possibilities for children who previously may have been frustrated by the constraints of their abilities and their environment.’

To help you think through this question for yourself, Professor Lydia Plowman and teaching fellow Juliet Hancock, from the University of Edinburgh, have put together a helpful guide.

Sir David Attenborough narrating Pokémon Go

You might think that David Attenborough and Pokémon Go was a marriage in heaven waiting to happen.

Who better than the beloved naturalist to narrate a popular game where people go hunting for exotic creatures in the wild?

Thanks to Lovin’ Dublin, the dream is now reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo7jXmrFVmw

The mash-up features Attenborough describing Charmander as a “top predator” and giving a brilliant understatement on a Spearow – “It is, of course, a bird.”  But the best one might be his comment on those irritating Zubat: “Bats, with their fluttering zigzag flight are not easy targets.”

 

An Infographic on Anonymous Apps and Teenagers

An Infographic on Anonymous Apps and Teenagers

One of the most frequent questions I receive from parents is about apps that teenagers are using and what a caring parents perspective should be on them.

The team from Rawhide.org have released a helpful infographic which gives a quick and concise overview of these anonymous apps – something you can share with parents.

Temporary and Anonymous Apps

 

Why your church needs to know about Pokémon GO

Pokemon Go

The Church of England has written a very helpful blog post on what your church needs to know about Pokémon GO:

The NSPCC has issued advice to parents of those children playing Pokémon GO in the UK. Whilst we would encourage churches to engage with those playing the game, be they adults or children, we also understand the concerns that the NSPCC have raised with regards to keeping children safe. Our first priority as a church should be to provide a safe place for children and vulnerable adults with regards to Pokémon GO.

Please make sure you read the advice on the NSPCC’s website here:https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/pokemon-go-parents-guide/

If you have any concerns in relation to those playing Pokémon GO, please feel free to talk to your Safeguarding Officer.

——————————————

First of all, what is Pokémon GO?
Pokémon GO is a mobile and tablet app game which lets players find Pokémon (Animated creatures, first created in the 90′s, which players have to catch, train and battle with). The game takes place in augmented reality (meaning the game combines real life action with virtual gaming) by using GPS as you walk around towns, cities and other locations to find the Pokémon.

The game has been an overnight sensation with millions playing it around the world.

Why does your church need to know?
Your church might be a ‘PokéStop’ – real life buildings and landmarks that players have to visit to get certain items they need to play the game. Your church could also be a ‘Gym’ where players can battle their Pokémon. (Being Gym means people spend significantly more time battling Pokémon.)

Pokémon Go is therefore giving churches around the country a great opportunity to meet people from their area who might not normally come to church. However, we all need to be aware that this game means that children under the age of 18 may come into contact with people who may present a risk.

How do you know if your church is a Pokestop or a Gym?
Download Pokémon Go on your mobile or tablet. Through the game you will be able to see if your church is a PokéStop or a gym.

You might also spot people standing outside the church on their phones who may be playing the game and at your ‘PokéStop’.

What can your church to do get involved?

  • Place welcome signs outside: encourage them to come inside and offer them drinks and snacks. The game also uses a lot of battery so why not create a battery charging station? If you’ve got it, let them connect to the church’s wifi

  • Speak to players about the game: learn how to play it yourself, it’s a good way to start a conversation that may lead on to other things.

  • Hold a Pokeparty like Christ Church Stonehttps://www.facebook.com/events/246500169067368/

  • Tweet about it: Just like St Stephens Rednal and Hope Church Islington did. Don’t forget to use #PokemonGo

Children’s & Youth Work links

Children’s & Youth Work links

Here’s some links from the last few weeks that are worth taking a few minutes to read if you’re involved in children’s and youth work: