Online Safety Newsletter




St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School


Online Safety Newsletter: October  2017


Online Bullying


Last week was National Anti Bullying week and a recent report produced by the NSPCC has revealed that they have seen an 88% increase in the number of children reaching out to them to help with online bullying.  For parents, online bullying can be difficult to identify but possible signs include:


  • Sudden reluctance to use technology.
  • Change in mood after using technology.
  • Loss of self-confidence/self-esteem.
  • General unhappiness or mood swings in your child.
  • Reluctance to attend school.
  • Change in academic attainment.

As with all internet safety the best way you can protect your children online is to take an active interest in their online activity and set a positive example by your own online behaviors.  Explain to your children that they should behave online in the same way that they do in the real world and remind them that everything they post contributes to their own ‘digital footprint’. 


If you suspect your child is the subject of online bullying you should talk to either your child’s teacher, the school Safeguarding Officer [insert name] or the Head Teacher about your concerns.  If you want to know more about how to keep your child safe online, you may find these websites useful:



More than 16,000 young people are absent from school every year due to bullying. (NSPCC)




App in Focus: ooVoo (Age Limit 13+)


oovoo.pngooVoo is a video chat app that allows users to video chat with up to 12 people.  Despite the age restriction on this app, users are not asked for their date of birth when they sign up and this obviously makes it easy for children under this age to use the app.   Another concern is that the default setting for all profiles is “public” meaning anyone on the app can see profiles and make contact.  While the profiles setting is easily changed in the settings tab, many children don’t think to check this feature.    

In App Purchases


There have been several reports in the national media of parents who have incurred severe charges as a result of in-app purchases.  Here’s how to set your child’s device(s) so they cannot run up high charges:


Android OS - On an Android phone or tablet, apps are downloaded from the Google Play Store. On the device, open the Play Store app, touch the Menu icon > Settings > Require authentication for purchases and then choose a setting.


iOS - On the iOS device, go to Settings > General > Restrictions and then tap Enable Restrictions. Now you’ll see what’s allowed on the device. To prevent in-app purchases only, turn off In-App Purchases. If you want to disable purchasing completely, turn off iTunes Store, iBooks Store, Installing Apps, and In-App Purchases.


internetmatters.pngInternet Matters App


This free app enables parents and children to compete against each other to answer questions about internet safety.  It is a great way to engage your children and find out what they know about online safety.


Family Timer on the xBox


Use the Family Timer to limit the amount of time your children can use the console on a daily or weekly basis. Family members can see how much time remains by pressing the Guide button on the Xbox controller. When the time expires, the console shuts down and can't be used again until the Family Timer automatically resets the next day or week.


To set the Family Timer

  1. On your console, go to Settings, and then select Family.
  2. Select On to turn on Console Safety.
  3. Enter a 4-button pass code using your controller.
  4. Select Family Timer.
  5. Select whether you want to set a Daily or Weekly timer.
  6. Move down to the time period and use the left stick to increase or decrease the time period, then select Continue.
  7. Select Save and Exit.


When the Family Timer is on, notifications will appear 1 hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes, and 5 minutes before the time runs out. This gives players sufficient warning so that they can save their games. However, when one of these notifications appears, you can add time or disable the timer altogether by entering your pass code.