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National Online Safety – Parental guidance

Netflix’s Squid Game is set to become the streaming service’s most successful show of all time, with huge numbers of viewers taking to social media to discuss each new episode. The South Korean thriller features some scenes of fairly brutal violence and is rated 15 by the BBFC. It follows a group of adults who compete to win innocent-looking playground games, but who are killed if they do not succeed at the tasks.

Squid Game’s 15 rating has not prevented clips and images from the show being uploaded onto social media sites such as TikTok, with the #SquidGame hashtag being viewed more than 22.8 billion times. There have been reports of children who have accounts on these platforms inadvertently viewing gory, explicit scenes from the programme, and parents and carers should be mindful of the prevalence of these uploads. 

The popularity of the programme has also led to online challenges based on various scenes, which see people taking part in seemingly innocent children’s games. On the show, however, characters are executed if they fail in the game – and videos of people pretending to kill each other after competing in Squid Game-style contests are going viral on social media, where they are easily accessible to children.

Please take a look at the parental guidance information produced by National Online Safety


Netflix – Squid game

It has come to our attention that young people have started to watch this show on Netflix, please be aware that it is not suitable for school aged children, The premise of the show is contestants play games to win money, however if they are eliminated, they are killed. People are killed by either being shot or killed as part of the game. Some contestants also murder each other.  It is very graphic and has a lot of blood and gore, as well as a sex scene.

Here is a parent’s guide and the British Board of Film Classification Rating.


Netflix parental controls

Parents and carers setting up Netflix for their children – easy link to set age limits that filter out inappropriate content

What Parents and Carers need to know about email scams

Email scams are when you receive an email from someone purporting to be a genuine person or company, but is actually an online fraudster trying to trick you into disclosing personal information. This is often referred to as ‘phishing’. Normally, people click on the links in an email assuming that they will be directed to a trustworthy website – but fake sites, closely resembling the real thing, are increasingly being set up by cyber criminals specifically to capture your personal information, which could, in turn, jeopardise your financial, emotional and possibly even physical wellbeing. Please take a look at this help guide produced by National Online Safety



What parents/carers need to know about the Ofcom ‘Media use and attitudes’ report 2021

Ofcom’s annual ‘Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes’ report aims to provide a comprehensive picture of how young people use and experience the internet in any given year.
In the guide you’ll find information on areas including children’s online activities, popular apps and parental concerns.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know About ‘Avakin Life’

A 3D ‘lifestyle simulator’ for mobiles, Avakin Life has a notable percentage of young teens among its 1.4 million daily users. But is the content really suitable for such an impressionable audience? With revealing outfits, suggestive dance moves and private chats with older users, it’s not difficult to see why at least one regional UK police force has already issued a safeguarding alert about the game.

It’s a game which prioritises physical appearances and material possessions. But that may be the least of Avakin Life’s issues. With a lack of age verification, players can easily pretend to be someone they’re not in this setting. Add in skimpy outfits, suggestive dancing and the facility to chat in private, and there’s a clear risk to the game’s younger teen users.

What Parents and Carers Need to Know About ‘Clubhouse’

Between May 2020 and January 2021, the value of audio chat discussion app Clubhouse soared from $100 million to $1 billion. Only available on Apple devices (for now), it’s currently ranked #7 in the App Store’s social networking chart: not too shabby for an app that users can only join by invitation.

Already a success on iOS devices and with an Android version in the works, invitation-only audio app Clubhouse has put a chic new slant on online debate and networking. But question marks over privacy and data protection, plus potentially contentious subject matter – like politics, race, sexuality and religion – have already raised concerns. So how safe is Clubhouse? How do you get invited? And is it suitable for young people?

What Parents and Carers Need to Know About ‘Signal’

The multimedia messaging app Signal has been dubbed “an overnight success, years in the making”. The result of a merger between two older apps (TextSecure and RedPhone), Signal has been available since 2015, but didn’t gain notable popularity until the latter half of 2020 – since when it’s been downloaded by an additional 20 million users globally.

Co-founded by the man who also started WhatsApp, Signal has been one of the major beneficiaries from the controversy around WhatsApp’s changes to its privacy policy last year. The two apps have plenty in common, so it was hardly surprising that users leaving WhatApp would head for what for appeared to be a ready-made replacement. If anything, Signal is even more secure in terms of encryption. But is that necessarily a good thing in every context? Does Signal in fact make it easier to get away with bad behaviour online? And should young people be using it?

Concerns over Omegle App

Online predators are using the live video chat site to take advantage of young boys and gather child sexual abuse materials, a BBC documentary has found. Omegle links random users together to engage in video or text chats and global child protection groups have voiced their concerns about the online risks it poses to children. One 15-year-old user described how she often comes across grown men acting inappropriately on the site. She says, “[Omegle] is like the dark web but for everyone.”

Access the Omegle safety guide: 

For more information follow the link below:

Support for parents and carers to keep children safe online

Options for reporting or talking through online problems:


The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. It is part of UK policing and very much about tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces. Anybody with concerns that a pupil is being groomed or sexually exploited, including involvement in Sexting, should contact them directly using the link below. I would strongly recommend that if possible, you also contact Mr Lindsay or any member of the Safeguarding team here at Hurworth as we may need to make additional referrals to Children’s Services.

Childline Instant Help

The link provided below will take you to the Childline website where you can click the explore button to find out more about topics such as Cyber Bullying and Online and Mobile Safety. More importantly if you click on the 1 to 1 Chat Online link you can contact a Childline counsellor in a 1 to 1 online chat (like instant messenger) about any online problems. Childline state that no problem is too big or too small.


Here you can find the latest information on websites, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. If you look after young people, there’s an area for you too with resources you can use at home or just to get yourself up to speed with the latest developments. Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to report if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online.

Here you can find a parents/carers guide to safely stream online and share images.

Delivering Online Safety at Home

Internet Watch Foundation

If you have inadvertently stumbled across potentially illegal online content, specifically images of child sexual abuse, criminally obscene material or anything that incites racial hatred then please submit a report to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). The IWF works in partnership with the police, government, the online industry and the public to combat this type of material and you are helping to make the internet safer for all by taking this action.

Options for finding information about online safety guidance:

All the websites listed above have both reporting tools and sections of information and advice relating to e-safety. In addition to these you may find the following useful:


The Twitter feed from the CEOP website has many tweets with up to date information about online safety. It covers the type of current activity taking place not only across the UK but also specifically what is happening regionally.

Get Safe Online

Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.