Council for Internet Safety in the UK

The government has announced plans to establish a new UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS), which will extend the scope of the current UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS).  It will be a new collaborative forum through which government, the tech community and the third sector work together to ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to be online.

Priority areas of focus for the council will include:

  • online harm experienced by children such as cyberbullying and sexual exploitation;
  • radicalisation and extremism;
  • violence against women and girls;
  • hate crime and hate speech;
  • and forms of discrimination against groups protected under the Equality Act.

The Government has opened the application process to appoint members of the UKCIS Executive Board (the closing date is 03 September 2018).

How to safely use ‘Questions’ on Instagram

Recently Instagram introduced ‘Questions’ – the latest feature onto the photo sharing app. Users are now able to invite their followers to ask them questions, which they can then publicly answer.  The UK Safer Internet Centre has published a blog describing things to be aware of.

What are questions on Instagram?

Questions can be added once you have taken a photo or video that you want to share on your story. This is done by selecting the poll sticker from the stickers tab  .

You can then position the questions sticker onto your story and invite your followers to ask you a question.

Your followers ask you a question by typing into the answer box in your sticker, and then sending this to you to answer.

To see the questions you have been asked, swipe up to open the viewers list for that part of your story.

Are the questions anonymous?

There has been some confusion recently about whether the question you ask on Instagram stories are anonymous.

Instagram questions are not anonymous, the person who you sent the question to will know that it is you who asked them. However, if the person you’re sending a question to decides to share your question publicly, your username will be removed.

Remember that anonymous or not there is a real person behind the Instagram account that you are asking questions to. It’s important to act respectfully and kindly on this service and any other question platform you use.

Who can see my answers?

You can choose how you answer the questions you have been asked. When you click to reply to a question you are taken to a camera screen, where you can take a picture that will be the background to your answer. Once you have typed your reply to the question, you can choose whether to answer privately or publicly.

  • Privately: you can choose to send your answer directly to the person who asked you in a private message.
  • Publicly: you can chose to post your answer onto your story so that all of your followers can see it.  It’s worth noting if you have a public account anyone who views your story will be able to see your answer.

You can also choose not to answer any questions you have been asked. You can delete any questions in the question viewer. If anyone asks you a question that is inappropriate or makes you feel uncomfortable you can always go and speak to an adult you trust, and report or block the user.

Things to remember

Whilst these questions can be used positively to find out more about your friends, there is potential for this feature to be misused. There have been reports of people using the feature to ask upsetting or insulting questions, especially if they think they are under an anonymous guise.

Remember that whoever you are asking questions of is a real person. Before you send a negative or mean comment, think about the effect that receiving this will have on a person.

Our advice

  • Think about how your question will make someone feel.
  • Remember that they will be able to see what you post.  If your question will hurt someone’s feelings it’s better not to post it.
  • Report inappropriate questions.
  • If you see a story or question that you think breaks Instagram’s terms of service you can report it to Instagram.
  • Speak to someone you trust.
  • Speak to a parent, carer or teacher if you are upset or concerned about any question you have been asked. You can also contact Childline by calling 0800 1111.

Digital Skills training from Media Trust. Interested?

Did you know…

  • more than 70% of charities believe strengthening their digital skills would help their organisation to grow its network and deliver a more effective strategy

but despite this…

  • 45% of charities don’t have a digital strategy

That’s why Media Trust are offering FREE digital skills training for charities and community groups.

The half-day masterclasses, with support from Google Digital Garage, will cover a range of topics from Social Media Strategy to Building a Digital Marketing Plan.

At these events, attendees will have the opportunity to discuss their specific digital communications challenges with, and receive advice from, a range of media partners and communications experts, learn from other charities as well as receiving digital skills training from a team of Google mentors. You can find out more about the programme via the Media Trust website

Media Trust are offering free digital skills training for groups of 25 or more. Action Hampshire is looking to gather expressions of interest from staff, volunteers and trustees in local charities. If you are interested in taking part in this training, please email them at info@actionhampshire.org

Kangaroo delays football game

A kangaroo delayed the second half of a match between soccer teams Blue Devils FC and Canberra FC on Sunday, when it hopped onto the field and set itself in front of goal.

After a little while, the kangaroo hopped off the field and toward the carpark. Then it returned, again, to interrupt the second half of play.

People with disabilities share the moving ways their partners show love for them

People with disabilities have been sharing their partners’ actions that show them just how much they’re loved — actions that are “different from the way abled people show love.”  Get the tissues at the ready, this is emotional.

The conversation was started by Imani Barbarin, a disabilities activist and creator of the #DisTheOscars hashtag, which calls attention to the lack of disability representation in the Academy Awards.

Barbarin asked people with disabilities to share “some of the physical ways your partner makes you feel loved that are different from the way abled people show love.”

Twitter user @Shqueeebee wrote that when she was “first in the hospital” she wasn’t able to hold a pen to write her name on her medical consent forms. “I’m Greek and my armpit hair grew longer than I ever wanted so my sweet guy offered to shave them for me because I couldn’t,” wrote @Shqueeebee.

Twitter user @Jkcanaan, who uses a wheelchair, wrote that their partner pushes their chair “no matter how hot it is outside.”

“He always makes sure to give me the right number of pain pills for my headaches,” they wrote, adding that he also pops their joints back into place for them.

Disabilities activist @4WheelWorkOut — creator of #disabledwomanism — tweeted that her partner touchers her “scars and stubs.” “I used to flinch bc scars and stubs. But that’s one way I knew he loved me,” she wrote.

Go check out the hashtag for more powerful writing.

Digital Friendships of young people aged 8‐17 years

For Safer Internet Day 2018, the UK Safer Internet Centre commissioned an online survey of 2000 young people aged 8‐17 years, which was conducted by Censuswide.

The findings reveal how central technology is to young people’s relationship and the many different platforms they are using to interact with each other. It also highlights both the positive and negative role that technology can play in young people’s relationships and that whilst they are proactively helping to build a better internet, they also want support from the adults in their lives to do so.

  • Being online is key for many young people’s relationships, and they are using a number of different platforms to communicate.
  • Technology is changing the way young people are interacting with each other as well as their ideas of what constitutes a ‘good friendship’.
  • Young people have strategies to manage their online relationships but also want adults to support them when things go wrong.

Download the Digital Friendships Report and Executive Summary

 

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.