The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has reported a significant increase of cases of sexual extortion, or sextortion, being reported to them. This essentially involves offenders posing as a young person and enticing them to share sexual images with them. These are then used to blackmail the young person into giving money, or sometimes into producing further, more graphic images. The emotional impact of this on a child can be devastating.
The IWF suggests that the age group most at risk is 14-17, with a big increase in the numbers of boys affected; offenders pose as young women in order to get the boys to share the images, and once they have done so, the offenders reveal their real identity.
The IWF has further information for parents about this which can be found here:
Fortnite remains a very popular online game, part of a suite of games produced by Epic Games. The link below has been produced by Epic Matters and provides guidance for parents about how to keep children safe on these games. In particular, it describes ‘cabined accounts’, which if a child signs up below the age of 13 are applied by default, and have a number of useful restrictions, for example, they are not able to talk to other players.
Although it has an age restriction of 16, WhatsApp is the most popular messaging app for children in secondary schools. The link below, also from Internet Matters, provides information for parents about how to ensure that the most appropriate settings are in place for their child’s WhatsApp account.