Tag Archives: Cyber Stalking

Growing up Digital – A Report

A report released today by the Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield  entitled Growing Up Digital has stated that children are left to “fend for themselves” against the pitfalls of being on the internet such as online bullying or grooming.

Ms Longfield stated “The internet is an incredible force for good, but it is wholly irresponsible to let them roam in a world for which they are ill-prepared”.   It is felt that social media applications in particular have a wealth of difficult to understand Terms and Conditions which leaves children unsure as to what they’re signing up for, including “hidden clauses” waiving privacy rights and allowing content children have posted to be sold.

One of the recommendations in the report was that children should study “digital citizenship” to learn about their rights and responsibilities online, so they are prepared for online activities.  At Aire Media we’re passionate about online safety and offer a variety of training sessions for children and their parents.  We feel it is really important that children are given the tools to harness the full potential of all the wonderful things the internet has to offer whilst maintaining their own safety.

Our rules for online safety remain: –

  • Take note of age regulations on social media platforms.  Whilst they seem arbitrary, we believe that children aged 13+ are much more emotionally equipped to deal with online safety than a younger child.
  • Always go through the Terms and Conditions of new sites your children are signing up to with them and ensure both you and they understand the clauses they are agreeing to.
  • Always make sure your child has their privacy settings as high as possible.
  • Keep dialogue open with your children  – ensure they feel comfortable in discussing what they’re doing online with you.

We wrote an in-depth piece on social media safety entitled SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CHILDREN FRIEND OR FOE.  If you would like to talk to us more about what we can offer in terms of advice for children or how we can work with parents to ensure they’re fully versed in keeping their children as safe as possible on social media, please get in touch with us.

The Growing up Digital Report can be read in full HERE.

CPS publishes new social media guidelines

As part of Hate Crime Awareness Week, The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has today published guidelines as to the range of offences for which social media users could face prosecution.

CPS Logo ImageThe guidelines make it clear that social media users who create derogatory hashtags, who try to gather virtual mobs to target people, people who post humiliating photoshopped images, users who indulge in the practice of “baiting” and people who post or encourage people to repeat grossly offensive messages should face prosecution, which could result in a jail term.  The maximum jail term for such offences is 12 months.

The guidelines are keen to point out that message must pass what they’re describing as a “high threshold” before a prosecution can take place.

The guidelines go on to clarify that teenagers who send sexually explicit images of themselves are not to be prosecuted providing it is consensual and all parties are a similar age.

The new guidelines (which can be read in full here) are particularly welcome after a report earlier this year found that 1 in 4 teenagers had suffered some form of online abuse.

Further information on Hate Crime Awareness Week can be found by visiting the Stop Hate UK website.



Tips on Tuesday

A slight deviation for us today, in that we’re going to talk about online bullying and abuse.  Whilst this does fit under our remit for education, it isn’t a usual topic for our Tips on Tuesday segment but it is certainly a topic worth visiting.

We wrote a lengthy post on keeping children safe on social media here and we feel the message must be that if you see instances of cyber bullying report it. 

Immediate steps – and this is our tip – you can take are: –

  1. Don’t respond or engage
  2. Keep evidence
  3. Block the person who is bullying
  4. Report to the relevant social media site the bullying appears on.

Bullying Uk have written an excellent piece on Cyber Bullying and you can report instances of online abuse by visiting stopbullying.gov and following their report tool.

You can also report Hate Speech online by using the following details: –

Reporting hate speech Aire Media

Tips on Tuesday

This week is National Stalking Awareness Week and we want to support the amazing work Paladin do by giving you our tips to stay safe online.  With the advent of social media, cyber stalking became a real and dangerous thread and it shouldn’t be underestimated how much damage online stalking can do.  We have already written about children staying safe on social media in our blog here and indeed much of the advice is pertinent to adults too.

Cyber stalking image Aire Media

Here are our top tips to keep you safe online: –

  1. Change your passwords regularly
  2. Never share your passwords with anybody
  3. Never give out personal information online
  4. Keep your security and privacy settings on the highest possible setting
  5. Never share your location – if you’re concerned about this make sure you set location services to off on your device.
  6. Block unsolicited messages
  7. Do not be afraid to report messages that are threatening in any way.  You will be taken seriously

We hope you find today’s tip useful – please share amongst your friends and colleagues if you think it will be useful.  If you are on Twitter join in this week using the hashtag #NSAW16.