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Ditto magazine

E-safety magazine from Alan Mackenzie

#DITTO is a free online safety magazine from esafety adviser, Alan Mackenzie, aimed at schools, organisations and parents. The content looks at risks, issues, advice and guidance related to keeping children safe online, with a view to enjoying and learning about technology.

IWF has record month (CSA imagery)

The Internet Watch Foundation has recorded a significant increase in members of the public reporting illegal imagery. It is suspected that as more people are at home, spending more time online is a contributing factor. On the flip side, more people at home will include offenders spending more time online and as we all know, grooming and exploitation via live streaming is getting bigger. 

You can read the IWF press release HERE


Loot boxes hit the news again

If you're not aware of loot boxes, essentially, they're similar to treasure chests and you find them in many games that children play. For a number of years there have been concerns over gambling-like behaviours as loot boxes have to be paid for and it's a game of chance whether there is anything worthwhile in them. I have spoken to children that have spent extraordinary amounts of money in loot boxes and I would like to say this is uncommon, but it isn't!

A number of countries have already banned loot boxes in games and last year a DCMS committee have advised that loot boxes should be regulated within the UK. Interestingly, last week the Netherlands Gaming Authority were given permission to fine Electronic Arts 500,000 Euros every week it sells loot boxes within Fifa Ultimate Team, a hugely popular game with children and young people. 

It's going to be interesting how this pans out and I'll keep you updated as I learn more. But in the meantime, it's a worthwhile conversation to have with your students. Do they think loot boxes are gambling?

Ollee - a new app for children (8-11)

Funded by BBC Children in Need, ParentZone have released a new app for children aged 8-11. Ollee is a digital friend which aims to make a difference in children's emotional wellbeing. I haven't had a chance to look closely at this yet but it's worth you having a look.

The website link is HERE.

Online tutors - keeping children safe

Given the 'challenges' this year, it's likely that more parents will be looking for online tutors for their children. Anyone can become a tutor and parents may not know the questions to ask. London Grid for Learning have put together some guidance for parents which would be useful for you to share with them.

The link to the guidance is HERE.