Resources and Information
What is online or cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behaviour which happens on social networks, games and mobile phones. Cyberbullying can include spreading rumours about someone, or posting nasty or embarrassing messages, images or videos.
Children may know who's bullying them online – it may be an extension of offline peer bullying - or they may be targeted by someone using a fake or anonymous account. It’s easy to be anonymous online and this may increase the likelihood of engaging in bullying behaviour.
Cyberbullying can happen at any time or anywhere - a child can be bullied when they are alone in their bedroom - so it can feel like there’s no escape.
sending threatening or abusive text messages
creating and sharing embarrassing images or videos
'trolling' - the sending of menacing or upsetting messages on social networks, chat rooms or online games
excluding children from online games, activities or friendship groups
setting up hate sites or groups about a particular child
encouraging young people to self-harm
voting for or against someone in an abusive poll
creating fake accounts, hijacking or stealing online identities to embarrass a young person or cause trouble using their name
sending explicit messages, also known as sexting
pressuring children into sending sexual images or engaging in sexual conversation.
What is sexting?
Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages.
They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops - any device that allows you to share media and messages.
Sexting may also be called:
Pic for pic
What the law says
Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young person is breaking the law if they:
- take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
- share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age
- possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.
However, as of January 2016 in England and Wales, if a young person is found creating or sharing images, the police can choose to record that a crime has been committed but that taking formal action isn't in the public interest.
Crimes recorded this way are unlikely to appear on future records or checks, unless the young person has been involved in other similar activities which may indicate that they're a risk. Find out more about legislation on child abuse images.
Why do young people sext?
There are many reasons why a young person may want to send a naked or semi-naked picture, video or message to someone else.
- joining in because they think that ‘everyone is doing it’
- they may find it difficult to say no if somebody asks them for an explicit image, especially if the person asking is persistent
- to get attention and connect with new people on social media
- exploring their sexual feelings
- flirting with others and testing their sexual identity
- boosting their self-esteem
Today Snapchat introduced a new feature, the ‘Snap Map’.
This location based map allows users to see where in the country their Snapchat contacts are, as well as seeing location based photos and videos. The Snap Map shows a user’s Bitmoji, their cartoon avatar within Snapchat, pinpointed on a world map. Users can then zoom into the map to see the exact location of their friends.
How to access Snap Maps
To access the Snap Map in the latest update of the Snapchat app, users need to go to their camera screen within Snapchat and zoom out using two fingers. This will then launch the Snap Maps screen and will allow a user to see their friend’s locations.
Choose who can see your location
It is important to be careful about who you share your location with, as it can allow people to build up a picture of where you live, go to school and spend your time.
Given how specific this new feature is on Snapchat - giving your location to a precise pinpoint on a map - we would encourage users not to share their location, especially with people they don’t know in person.
There are three settings for sharing your location on the map, these are; Ghost mode, My Friends, and Select Friends. But what do these settings mean?
Ghost Mode means that you are the only person who can see your location on the map.
Within Ghost Mode you can still see the locations of your friends but they will be unable to see you. This setting will ensure that you have complete control over who knows your location.
My Friends means that all of your contacts on Snapchat can see your location. If turning on this setting then it would be important for users to review their Snapchat contacts and also make sure that they never add someone they don’t know in person onto Snapchat.
Select Friends This setting allows users to look through their friend list and then decide which of their friends they want to be able to view their location. This setting gives users the opportunity to control who can view their location.
When first opening the Snap Map users get to make a decision of who they want to be able to view their location. Once these settings are in place they can always be changed in Snapchat’s settings. This can be done in two ways:
In the Snapchat settings
In the Snapchat screen click on the Settings (cog) icon> click on ‘see my location’ > Choose the setting which suits you
On the Snap Map
Click on the setting button in the top right of the map > choose the setting which suits you
Our top tips
Sharing location can be a risky thing to do. Our tips for location sharing are:
Only share your location with people you know in person. Never share your location with strangers.
Don’t add contacts to Snapchat if you don’t know them in person.
Regularly review your settings and take an active decision about whether you want people to know your location. Remember you can switch this off at any time. Think about where you’re sharing your location. Location services such as Snap Maps can lead people to your house. Think about what times you’re on the app and whether these are locations you want to share – if not, then turn this off within your settings.
Instagram is a picture and video sharing app. Users can post content and use hashtags to share experiences, thoughts or memories with an online community. You can follow your friends, family, celebrities and even companies on Instagram. Instagram allows live streaming.
Please click on the link below for more information
A parents guide to being Share Aware
A copy of the Share Aware document has been given out to all parents but it you have lost your copy please click on the link below. You may want to look at the other links below which give advice on being cyber secure.