Online Safety Update

We have received updates regarding some social media applications that are not suitable for young people so we wanted to make you all aware.
Most social media apps and sites have a lower age limit of 13, however we would always recommend that Social Media apps are best for young people over the age of 16 only.
If your child does use social media we recommend that you regularly monitor their use and have open and honest conversations with them regarding any concerns they may have.
The two apps we are concerned about are IMVU and Sarahah.
Sarahah was originally designed for businesses to get feedback from customers and staff about their performance.
Unfortunately Sarahah is now being used to send anonymous and abusive messages and is closely linked to Snapchat.
Young people can receive multiple messages from people they do not know or who's identity is concealed. Also the app has no moderation of explicit content so foul language and adult content can easily be shared. There appears to be no functioning reporting button so young people can't report any abuse via the app. All these things combine to  make for a very unpleasant experience for its users, with many young people nationwide experiencing serious bullying through the app.
The IMVU is another worrying app that allows users to create an Avatar and talk to strangers, whilst also pinpointing their location. This type of app leaves young people exposed to the dangers posed by strangers and reveals their location to others, even when the app is not in use.
The pictures above are of of the app icons to help you identify them on your child's device.
We feel that is vital for parents and young people to have conversations openly about social media to help them feel comfortable addressing concerns and issues.
If you or your child require further information or support please contact one of the I-zone team via the Academy reception. Childline, NSPCC and Safer Internet Centre all have excellent information about online safety and social media on their websites.
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