On-line safety docs

AtNationalOnlineSafetywebelieve inempoweringparents, carers and trustedadultswith the information theyneed toholdan informedconversationabout online safetywith their children, should they feel it isneeded.Thisguide focusesonone topicofmanywhichwe believe trustedadults shouldbeawareof. Pleasevisitwww.nationalonlinesafety.com for further guides, hints and tips for adults.

Publish date: 03.04.19

In today's digitally connectedworld, children and adults are constantly presentedwith newways to engage, react and contribute.We’re sociable beings; it’s a natural human instinct, especially amongst younger audiences, to want to belong and join in. Viral Challenges (as they’re often known) drawon these emotions and, as the name suggests, spread and gather pace very rapidly. New challenges are constantly emerging and evolving. They’re often completely innocent, raising awareness of worthy causes or simply providing amusement. However, they can havemuchmore sinister undertones, putting children at risk of physical harmor, in extreme cases, fatal injury.

What parents need to know about ONLINE CHALLENGES




As well as having the potential to cause actual physical harm, some challenges can be extremely upsetting for children. Many are created with the sole purpose of instilling fear in an individual in order to coerce them into doing things that could have a long-term emotional effect on them.

The ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO) is a strong emotional characteristic, particularly displayed in young people. The nature of viral challenges encourages children to explore and push boundaries. They tap into FOMO by feeding on a child’s natural desire to join in, be accepted and share experiences with their friends and the wider online community. A recent study also found that FOMO is one of the greatest causes of Social Media addiction.

In a major study by the Children’s Commissioner, it was found that children as young as ten years old are reliant on ‘Likes’ for their sense of self-worth. A major concern around viral challenges is not knowing how far children will go to earn ‘Likes’. Couple this growing appetite for acceptance with commonplace peer pressure and the potential problem is compounded. The result is that when young people are drawn into online challenges, because it is what all their friends are doing, saying ‘no’ can seem like a very hard thing to do.


As a parent or carer, it’s important to take a balanced view and understand that not everything online has the potential to do harm. Mass-following and interaction can be a force for good. For example, the Ice Bucket Challenge, which swept the nation, set out to raise money and awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). At its height, over 28 million people uploaded, commented on, or liked Ice Bucket Challenge related posts on Facebook. It’s equally important to be aware though that online challenges often have a darker side. Malicious trends and challenges can expose children to dangerous or even life-threatening situations, so it’s critical that parents and carers are aware of the latest risks and understand what steps to take to mitigate them.

“The coolest person at school will start a trend and then everyone copies her” Merran, 12, Year 7

“If I got 150 likes, I’d be like that’s pretty cool it means they like you” Aaron, 11, Year 7

Top Tips for Parents

COMMUNICATION& MONITORING It’s important to talk to your child regularly and monitor their online activities. Encouraging honesty and openness, will give you amuch clearer viewpoint of how your child is interacting online andwhat concerns they have. Create an atmosphere of trust. Ensure they feel they can confide in you or another trusted adult regarding anything theymay have seen or experienced online that’s upset them. THINKBEFOREACTING As withmost concerns in life, let common sense prevail when it comes toViral Challenges. Young people need the freedomand space to explore and going in all guns blazingmay well be counter-effective. Address the importance of safety andwellbeing, both online and offline, by getting the facts and understanding the risks. Start a discussion about the Online Challenges that may have captured your child’s interest, gauge their likely involvement and explain the importance of thinking and acting independently when it comes to participating.

SETTINGUPEFFECTIVE PARENTALCONTROLS As with all online activity, ensuring you have effective parental controls set up on all devices will help filter and restrict the dangerous or inappropriate content you don’t wish your child to access. Additional measures for protecting your child include checking the privacy settings on your child’s devices, monitoring their friends list, ensuring their personal information is safe and secure and keeping a watchful eye on the content they’re sharing. REPORTING&BLOCKING Parental controls can only go so far in blocking potentially harmful content. A rise in the decoding of social media algorithms, has led to age inappropriate content increasingly appearing on platforms and apps used by children.Where possible, you should regularly monitor what your child sees online and flag/report any content which is inappropriate or dangerous. You should take the time to talk to your child, define what you consider to be appropriate content and show them how to report and block users/accounts themselves.

VALIDATESOURCES Not everything is as it seems. Some people create fake content that’s designed to‘shock’in order to encourage rapid sharing. If your child has seen something online that has triggered concern you should encourage them to, check its origin, verify that it came froma credible source and check the comments made for any clues to its validity. FACINGREALITY Trends andViral Challenges can be tempting for children to take part in; nomatter howdangerous or scary they may seem. As a parent or carer it can be difficult to keep pace with the very latest Online Challenges emerging. In recent months these have included potentially dangerous crazes, including the‘Bird Box’challenge, whichwas inspired by Netflix’s popular filmand encourages followers to upload videos of themselves attempting everyday tasks while blindfolded. The best advice is to keep talking to your child. Show that your taking an interest and not just prying. Ensure your child knows they don’t have to get involved and if they’re unsure, let them know you’re there to talk before they consider participating. Children often need reassurance that not everything they see online is real. If your child has viewed distressing or frightening content it’s important to talk to themabout their experience, support themand, if required, help themfind additional support.

SOURCES: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/fake-news-twitter-spreads-further-faster-real-stories-retweets-political-a8247491.html | https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2209452/Teen-dies-copying-pass-game-time-YouTube.html https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6307331/Boy-11-dies-YouTube-choking-challenge-mother-warns-parents-son-strangled-himself.html | Children’s Commissioner Life in ‘likes’report - RSPH - Status of mind report https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-29013707 | https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/fear-of-missing-out-fomo-one-of-greatest-causes-of-social-media-addiction-study-!nds-36975296.html http://www.tltp.co.uk/news/children-as-young-as-eight-addicted-to-social-media-likes/

www.nationalonlinesafety.com Twitter -@natonlinesafety Facebook - /NationalOnlineSafety Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 03.04.19

At National Online Safety we believe in empowering parents, carers and trusted adults with the information they need to hold an informed conversation about online safety with their children, should they feel it is needed. This guide focuses on one platform of many which we believe trusted adults should be aware of. Please visit www.nationalonlinesafety.com for further guides, hints and tips for adults.


With over 14 million daily users, Discord is one of the most popular communication tools for gamers. It allows you to create or join what are known as ‘servers’, where di!erent users can talk in groups via text message or voice call. There is also the option to send direct messages and make video calls.


What parents need to know about DISCORD

Your child can access almost any chat server on Discord. This means they can easily be exposed to content and conversations that are inappropriate, upsetting or potentially harmful. INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT




Interactions on the platform are largely unregulated. This means other users can easily say and show things to your child that might be o!ensive and upsetting. The competitive nature of gaming can lead users to make abusive and RISKOF CYBERBULLYING


Despite there being guidelines in place to prevent it, users are able to circulate adult content. This can include sexualised images, pornographic videos and provocative discussions. It’s important to stay alert and know the risks that your child could be exposed to.

Though the basic platform is free, your child will be encouraged to sign up to premium subscriptions, which give extra perks, such as animated emojis and free games. The two options are known as ‘Nitro Classic’ (which costs $4.99 a month) and Nitro (which costs $9.99 a month). Prices are only converted to pound sterling during the payment process.

Cybercriminal groups have been linked to the platform due to reports of hackers sharing stolen data. It’s also possible that your child may be encouraged to share the data of their friends, either through peer pressure, or ‘for fun’, without realising the consequences.

To create an account, you only need to display a username and pro"le image. This makes it easy for someone to hide his or her real identity. Predators from anywhere in the world can join a chat server, message your child and quickly leave to avoid detection. Forbes reports groomers have been targeting children susceptible to online coercion on the platform.

harmful remarks about your child.

Top Tips to Protect Your Child



REPORT& BLOCK SUSPICIOUS USERS Make sure your child knows how to report and block abusive or suspicious users. If you do "nd your child su!ering repeated abuse, contact the platform directly using the email: abuse@discordapp.com. It’s a good idea to teach your child how to screenshot any negative interactions too.


Whatever your child says or shares on the platform can be seen, heard and shared with a much larger audience. Be careful to make sure your child understands this and does not say or share anything that could be deemed o!ensive, harmful or put themselves or others at risk. You can "nd Discord’s own guide for parents here: https://blog.discordapp. com/parents-guide-to- discord-c77d91793e9c

To help protect your child, make sure they set strong passwords. You should consider using the ‘two- factor authentication’ important to remind your child to never to share their personal information, or the details of another user. function for extra protection. It’s also

Public forums on the platform are a potential venue for inappropriate content that you should be wary of. There is a Discord mascot known as ‘Wumpus’, which is supposed to represent anyone under 18. Anyone who posts content unsuitable for under-18s, should mark it NSFW (Not Suitable For Wumpus).

It’s important you actively teach your child to treat other users with respect and behave online the same way as they would o#ine. Take the time to read through Discord’s Community Guidelines with your child. Find them at: www.discordapp.com/ guidelines

You can restrict who is able to make ‘friend requests’ to your child in the ‘Friends’ tab. It’s a good idea to deselect the default option that allows anyone to connect. Of course, you should also talk to your child about why it’s a risk to allow strangers to connect with them through such platforms.


Meet our expert Claire Wo!enden has been a technology journalist since 1998 with a specialism in consumer technology (apps, websites, home computing and digital devices). As a Mum of two young children - aged 8 and 6 - Claire is passionate about helping to keep children safe online.


You should encourage your child to activate the ‘Safe Direct Messaging’ option. This will scan and delete any direct messages sent to your child containing explicit content.

SOURCES: https://support.discordapp.com/hc/en-us, https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2017/03/discord-has-a-child-porn-problem/, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4559008/Half-youngsters-experience-bullying-online-games.html, https://www.pcgamesinsider.biz/news/67503/discord-drops-partnership-status-from-servers-hosting-porn/, https://www.forbes.com/sites/thomasbrewster/2019/01/29/discord-the-2-billion-gamers-paradise-coming-to-terms-with-data-thieves-child-groomers-and-fbi-investigators/#4fba3ddf3741

Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 08.05.2019


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AtNationalOnlineSafetywebelieve inempoweringparents, carers and trustedadultswith the information theyneed toholdan informedconversationabout online safetywith their children, should they feel it isneeded.Thisguide focusesononeplatformofmanywhichwe believe trustedadults shouldbeawareof. Pleasevisit www.nationalonlinesafety.comfor further guides, hints and tips for adults.

Publish date: 22/05/19

What parents need to know about CALL DUTY OF ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ (COD) is an online first-person shooter game. It’s available on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One. COD allows players to choose different game modes, including a multiplayer mode, ‘Zombies’mode and a ‘Blackout’mode. In the game, players can customise their character and weapons. BLACK OPS 4





Unlike other COD games, COD: Black Ops 4 doesn’t have an offline single-player mode. For this reason, much of the game requires an internet connection in order to battle against others online. Normal multiplayer games can last up to fifteen minutes, or twenty-five in ‘Blackout’mode. Due to the repetitive nature of the game, it can be difficult for children to stop playing and know their limits.

During a multiplayer game, if there is a microphone built into the PC or console your child is using, it is possible for them to talk to any other player of the game around the world. As it’s an adult game, the language used may often be inappropriate for young children. Due to the competitive nature of gaming and the fact conversations are not moderated, your child could be at risk of cyberbullying.

Inspired by war and undercover agents, COD has extremely violent themes. Players must harm and kill in violent and graphic ways. There’s also a horror element in ‘Zombies’mode, where players must kill monsters. The language used is not suitable for anyone under eighteen.



EammonJacobshasbeena popcultureand entertainment journalist for the last 6years coveringTV, filmandgaming. He’sbeenpublishedonsites likeMacworldandTechAdvisor offeringother how-toguides onapps and technologyaswell aswriting forWikiapreviewing newgames. Meet the expert

Top Tips for Parents DISABLE COMMUNICATION FEATURES It’s important to talk to your child regularly about who they’re interacting with online. If you have serious concerns, you can disable the voice chat function in the Audio tab of the game or disable the text chat function in the content filters section too. Players can gain an advantage over other players by spending money on new characters and attributes. The currency within the game is known as ‘COD points’, which can’t be earned by playing the game, only purchased in the online store. COD point packs range from £1.79 to £84.99.

Players can personalise certain elements of their character and profile in the game, creating emblems or decorating weapons. Some players use this as an opportunity to show inappropriate imagery. It's possible to report users for this, but it will not prevent your child being exposed to inappropriate content.

DISCUSSTIMELIMITS It’s not possible to pause a match of COD, so it’s a good idea to suggest to your child a limit of matches they can play in one session. In 2018 theWorld Health Organisation made ‘gaming disorder’ a recognised health disorder, so it’s important to monitor how often your child spends on the game. REMOVEGRAPHIC VIOLENCE&LANGUAGE At the very beginning of the game an option appears giving players the chance to disable the graphic content. You also have the option to disable graphic content in the game’s settings. You can change the profanity setting in the content filters tab, so that the harsh language doesn’t appear in the game. In addition to this, players also have the option to change the zombies mode to a cartoon setting, making the overall theme less frightening.

BLOCKUSER!GENERATED CONTENT You can prevent your child from viewing any user-generated content by changing the settings in the content filter tab. Choose ‘hide from the menu’ so any offensive content won’t show up on screen when your child is playing a match. ENCOURAGEALTERNATE ACTIVITIES Players are given incentives during the game the more time they spend playing it. This presents the potential risk that your child could become addicted to the game. It’s why you should make sure you talk to your child regularly about the importance of alternative activities away from the game, such as playing sports, playing a musical instrument or pursuing other creative interests such as arts and crafts.



To prevent your child incurring unwanted COD point costs, it’s recommended you remove your bank account details. Alternatively, you can set up parental controls on your child’s console to limit access. To keep a limit on spending, it’s a good idea to use a gift voucher, or a Paysafe card (if you’re using an Xbox or PlayStation).

SOURCES: https://www.who.int/features/qa/gaming-disorder/en/ https://www.paysafecard.com/en-gb/use/games/ https://www.polygon.com/2018/10/22/18009888/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-turn-o!-gore-option https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2019/01/07/call-of-duty-black-ops-4s-microtransactions-are-terrible-but-do-they-ruin-the-game/#3bab2c397798 http://www.askaboutgames.com/parents-guide-call-of-duty-black-ops-4-pegi-18/

www.nationalonlinesafety.com Twitter -@natonlinesafety Facebook - /NationalOnlineSafety Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release 15.05.19

AtNationalOnlineSafetywebelieve inempoweringparents, carers and trustedadultswith the information theyneed toholdan informedconversationabout online safetywith their children, should they feel it isneeded.Thisguide focusesonone issueofmanywhichwe believe trustedadults shouldbeawareof. Pleasevisitwww.nationalonlinesafety.com for further guides, hints and tips for adults.

WARNING! Catfishers will target ANYONE OF ANY age

Publish date: 13/02/19

What parents need to know about

1 new friend request

In this technological era,making friendsonlineand communicatingwith themarenormal partsof life. Unfortunately, therearepeopleout therewhomay tryandexploit your trust. Catfishing iswhensomeonecreates a fakeonlineprofile to trick people into thinking theyare somebodyelse.Theyassumea fake identityandgoes theextramile tomake their victimbelieve that theyareexactlywho they say theyare.




The term‘catfish’ was coined in a 2010 documentary about a man who developed an online relationship with a woman, only to discover the person he thought he was communicating with was someone else. Catfishers make up life stories and use photographs of unsuspecting victims to create fake identities. They will share life experiences, jobs, friends and photographs to the fake accounts. The aim of the perpetrator may be to lure victims into a sexual relationship, but they can also be part of social engineering to trick people out of money. After building up trust and developing an online relationship, a catfisher may ask for cash for a loan, money for travel, or some other form of payment.

Profile pictures and other photos that are posted can be big indicators. To avoid revealing their real identity, a catfisher may use ‘stock’ images of models, other people’s photos or photos in which it is difficult to see their face. They may try to limit chat to text-based messaging and anything involving video is likely to be shunned for fear of revealing their true identity. Through the course of conversations, there may be inconsistencies with what is said, or instances of people being very vague in response to specific questions about themselves.

Catfishing can escalate very quickly. As someone executing a catfishing scam is looking to achieve a goal - whatever that may be - they are likely to want to get things moving as quickly as possible. The victimmay be encouraged to develop a relationship faster than they are comfortable with. In addition to this, people who create fake identities could also be taking the victim’s photos and pretending to be them. It is common for fraudsters to post pictures stolen from social media sites, including Facebook and Instagram.

Top Tips for Parents




Go through your child’s security and privacy settings thoroughly to ensure that their online profiles are set to private. This means that only friends can see their profile and can contact them. It may also be a good idea to check through your child’s friends list with them - do they know and trust everyone on the list? In some cases it’s difficult to stop young people from talking to new people. In these circumstances, encourage your child to be curious and ask lots of questions rather than rely on the information given in someone's online profile. Do they have any mutual friends? If not, how did that person find them and why did they reach out? It’s vital that they know never to arrange to meet up with people they meet online, and never to send money to them - either their own, or from your account.

Make sure that you and your child is aware of how to report and block accounts on all platforms that the child uses. You can report fake accounts and block users to prevent them from viewing your child’s profile. If you are concerned that someone is using your child’s photographs for their own benefits, you can check by using Google image search. You can upload a photograph and Google will show related images used on other websites. This will show you if anyone else is using photos that your child has previously shared online. If this is the case, you need to report the user directly to the platform. If you suspect that any fraudulent, illegal or inappropriate activity has taken place, you should report to the police immediately.

Encourage your child to talk to their trusted adults about anything that has made them feel uncomfortable online, particularly if someone they don’t know has contacted them. Remind them that they should not accept friend requests or communicate with anyone they don’t know online, and to ask a parent or carer if they are unsure. It is also very important to closely monitor their internet usage so you are aware of who they are communicating with, especially if they are being secretive. Have regular and honest conversations with your child about what is safe to share with people online; the importance of keeping private information private; and that anything that could identify them should not be shared online.

SOURCES: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4303893/student-17-cat!shed-facebook-year/ https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/1754916/cat!shing-meaning-identity-steal-online-dating-law/

www.nationalonlinesafety.com Twitter -@natonlinesafety Facebook - /NationalOnlineSafety Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 14.03.19

At National Online Safety we believe in empowering parents, carers and trusted adults with the information they need to hold an informed conversation about online safety with their children, should they feel it is needed. This guide focuses on one platform of many which we believe trusted adults should be aware of. Please visit www.nationalonlinesafety.com for further guides, hints and tips for adults.

You don't need to be the biggest football fan in the world to have heard of FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) - the governing body for football. And, the video game series bearing the organisation's name is one of the most successful ever. The lure of this football series is that o!cial licensing gives your child the opportunity to play games in the role of their favourite players. They can either work through a story mode version of the game or play online in competitions against other players. The game, released annually by Electronic Arts under the EA Sports label, is available for a range of consoles, and there are also mobile versions available for smartphones and tablets.

3+ If under 18, supervision of a parent or legal guardian required.

FIFA20 17

CONSTANT SERIES REFRESHES The big selling point for the FIFA range of games is that it FIFA includes current players; a feature which no other football video game o"ers. However, this means that a new version of the game is released every year, with updated teams, players and stadia, plus newgameplay features and tweaks. And, with every annual update of the game, there is an expectation that it will be far better than the previous one, so the pressure to upgrade and buy the new version is likely to be immense!

FAKE EMAILS AND SCAMS Your childmay receive an email or see amessage on social media or in forums which appear to be a

JUST ONEMORE GAME Your child could be playing FIFA games on their computer or console for very long periods of time. That's not to say that computer-based matches are a full 90minutes long, but a series of 20-minutematches can very quickly #ll up a day! TheWorld HealthOrganisation has classi#ed 'gaming disorder' as amental health problem - this is when children have trouble controlling their gaming behaviour and let it reign over their lives and daily routine.


genuine FIFA promotion. While the linkmay seem like a FIFA login page, it's a phishing scam to capture a login name and password. Scammers may use names that sound legitimate, like 'EAAdmin' or 'FIFADeveloper’.



BUYINGADD-ONS In-game purchases are to be expected in anymodern game and FIFA is no di"erent. FIFAUltimateTeam (commonly called FUT) is amode in FIFA that lets gamers build teams of players from any league, playing both o$ine and online towin coins. These can be used to buy better players or packs containing random players.While some purchases can bemade using in-game currency, other purchases involve spendingwith real world money, which could become expensive. There have been reports of parents receiving large credit card bills resulting from in-game purchasemade by their children.

FIFAGAMEPLAY The FIFA series has been criticised for the competitive nature of gameplay leading to aggression in some players. Add to this the chance to converse with other players via in-game chat, and the potential for anger levels is likely to rise... especially if you're losing heavily!

While the FIFA video game is suitable for children of all ages as it does not include any inappropriate content, there is the issue of in-game chat. Your child can play with other people online and chat with themusing headsets. As this is largely unregulated, it could mean that your child is exposed to language or conversations that you deemunsuitable.

MONITOR ACTIVITY The parental controls on consoles can be used to restrict the amount of time spent playing. Physicallymonitoring howmuch time your child is spending in FIFA is recommended - just as you might monitor howmuch time they spend watchingTV. Keep an eye out for warning signs, such as a lack of interest in other activities, tiredness or fatigue, neglect of personal hygiene, changes in character or anger issues whe your child is told to stop playing a game. ENCOURAGE BREAKS Monitoring in-game chat may be di!cult as you're likely to only be able to hear one side of a conversation. However, noticing how your child is reactingmay be a reasonable indicator of the general mood. Dealingwith both the frustrations of a game as well as troublesome people can serve as useful life lessons, but as a parent, you know your child better than anyone else. If you notice your child is getting too upset or angry, that's the time to intervene and try to encourage them to take a break from the game.


STEER CLEAROF SCAMMERS You should teach your children to stay clear of scams. Explain to them that theymust be wary of any linkwhich asks them to either verify their username and password or provide other sensitive information; game developers will never send amessage asking for login information. Consolemessages, emails andwebsites, or social media posts promoting contests for in-game content, such as packs, players, or coins requiring login information are fake.

As a parent, the implications of this really depends on the age of your child and your relationshipwith them. It may be that playing and sharing games is part of your family life and so this isn't a problem, but just bemindful that being involvedwith the FIFA franchise is unlikely to be a one-o" event - it's the start of a gaming journey that could last for many, many years and involve numerous (potentially expensive) upgrades.



It's unlikely that you'll be able to convince your child to play FIFAwithout making use of the chat facility - it's something that adds to the experience. However, you should ensure your child is aware of how to silence any abusive players and how to report anyone who becomes problematic.

Tospend realmoney inFIFA, acredit ordebit cardmust be linked toagamingaccount, soensure that your card isnot beingused for this!There's alsosupport for PayPal payment, soalsocheckwho has [access to this typeof account. Dependingon theplatform your child isusing toplayFIFA, therearedi"erent parental controls that canbeput inplace to restrict spendingshouldyouallowthem to linkacard to their account.There is alsoapayment optioncalled Paysafecard,whichallows you tomakepaymentsonlinewithout theuseof abankaccount or credit card. As youcan topup balances, thismakes it easy tocontrol spending.

Meet our expert

Mark Foster has worked in the gaming industry for 5 years as a writer, editor and presenter. He is the current gaming editor of two of the biggest gaming news sites in the world, UNILADGaming and GAMINGbible. Starting gaming froma young age with his siblings, he has a passion for understanding how games and tech work, but more importantly, how tomake them safe and fun.


https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/fatherhood/10886939/My-son-spent-hundreds-of-pounds-on-in-app-purchases-without-me-knowing.html ,

Users of this guide do so at their own discretion. No liability is entered into. Current as of the date of release: 06.11.2019

18+ R

GRANDTHEFT What parents need to know about AUTO (GTA)

GrandTheftAuto is anaction-adventurevideogame serieswhere players control criminals andwreakhavoc inorder tocompletemissions andprogress through thegame. During theearly stagesof thegame, it solely focusesoncompletingmissions togoupa level. However, as the gamegrewmorepopular themakersofGTAdecided to introducea narrative toeacheditionof thegame.Theaimof thiswas to increaseuser engagement,makinggamersbelieve that theywerenot just playingas thecharacter, but theybecame thecharacter. GrandTheftAuto is accessibleonanumber of devices including: PlayStationandXbox, desktopcomputers, PSP, NintendoDS, andMobile.

Top Tips for Parents

THERISK!PLAYINGWITH STRANGERS When buying GTA V you automatically have access to Grand Theft Auto Online, a version of the game that allows players to play online. They can play alone, invite players to a game, or be involved in public ‘sessions’ where people will be picked at random to play. When you "rst load into a game you are automatically placed into an open lobby, meaning you play with random people. The ‘social club’ is GTA’s very own social platformwhere users can bet money, share in-game photographs (which users can like and comment on), and even message other users directly. to the ‘social club’, it automatically sets a player’s visibility settings to ‘everyone’, meaning their name and pro"le information is made public. Parents can alter this by changing the visibility settings to ‘only me’. What parents can do THERISK !ADDICTION Addiction is a risk with any game. Game developers use persuasive design techniques to force users to invest their time, and often money, in a game. Within GTA, your character is able to progress through the game for completing missions within a certain time frame, encouraging children to keep returning to the game. Gaming addiction is now a recognised health condition and the side e#ects are concerning, including sleep deprevation, decreased attention span and erratic emotional behaviour. There are a number of things you can do if you are concerned about your child’s screen time, including setting time limits within the home, especially during meal times and before bedtime. Talk to your child and ask why they are spending so much time on the game, and enourage healthy alternatives such as outdoor activities and spending quality time with friends and family. What parents can do To prevent your child playing with strangers on the game, you can change the settings to ensure they only play with their approved friends list. Upon signing up

THERISK ! MICROTRANSACTIONS By completing missions and partaking in certain activities you earn in-game currency. This allows you to buy things such as prostitutes, vehicles, weapons, ammo, new out"ts, cars, apartments and more. However, the items that are available to buy often have a high price that require a lot of game time, meaning the items are pretty unrealistic to buy. If you do not want your child to make payments, ensure your card is not associated with their account. If you are happy for your child to make payments in the game, but want to limit spending, we suggest purchasing a pre-paid gift card for your child. These can be purchased in speci"c amounts which will allow you to limit howmuch your child spends and removes the need for a credit or debit card to be used with their account. What parents can do THERISK !ONLINEHACKERS Hackers can make money by helping users cheat in the game. They can do a number of inappropriate things, including killing people, stealing weapons, spawning money into the game, and even raping other characters. Spawning money tends to be a gamer’s most popular choice, being able to buy $100,000,000,000 (of in-game currency) for as little as "ve US dollars. Actively monitor your child’s online activity. These websites are very easy to "nd, meaning children and young people can easily navigate their way to these wesbites and pay for hackers. Not only is this an illegal activity, but you have the risk of giving your personal information to someone who may misuse it. What parents can do


Due to the nature of the game and the age restrictions, GTA includes content that is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 18, including sex, nudity, violence, profane language, and substance abuse. These are the main components that make up the game - you have to do certain things and witness certain things in order to move on in the game. Exposing your child to this type of content could a#ect their morals and understanding of right and wrong. Additionally, your child could become desensitised to similar situations, reinforcing the fact they they would "nd it hard to di#erentiate between right/wrong and good/bad.

THERISK!LIVECHAT When playing GTA online, players have the option to use a microphone to broadcast their voice live to other players involved in the ‘session’. These live voice chats are not moderated, meaning anything could be said, including inappropriate language, as well as verbal forms of bullying.

What parents can do

Talk openly with your child about not giving away personal information. Also remind them that conversations can be recorded, which could damage their online reputation. Depending on the device/platform, there will be ways to mute conversations. Make yourself aware of the device’s/platform’s individual settings and ensure that your child knows how to block and report.

SOURCES: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2103188/parentalguide https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/news/grand-theft-auto-v-has-made-money-!lm-history/ http://www.techaddiction.ca/addiction-to-video-games.html

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17+ R

LiveMe is a streamingvideoapp that lets youwatch live streams andbroadcast your own livevideos toanyone interested.The service,whichclaims tohaveamassedmore than60millionglobal users andstreams around300,000hoursof footageaday, is aimed at givingcreators a‘platformto reachawideaudienceandshare their talents andpassionsdirectlywith their fans’. Users canbuy virtual coins andgifts andsend these tobroadcasterswhocreate content‘they love’,whichcanbe redeemed for realmoney.

LiveMe What parents need to know


ENCOURAGESCHILDREN TOSEEKFAME LiveMe describes itself as for new stars and famous celebrities, and suggests that ‘in%uencers’ can make up to $20,000 to $30,000 (£14,000 to £21,000) in a week through broadcasting live about all types of things, from fashion, music and gaming to art and beauty. Those who use the site seek to gain ‘likes’ and ‘electronic gifts’ from others, as the more they receive, the higher their status within that online community. Glori#cation of fame for fame’s sake can be a concern for parents.

ONLINEPREDATORS Law enforcement agencies have warned that LiveMe is placing children at risk fromonline predators. A sheri" in Texas even issued a warning that‘paedophiles have a virtual open window to your child’s bedroom’. Live chat can be used by groomers to target young people whomay be manipulated into sending sexual images and videos. LiveMe also has a chat feature, which allows users to speak to each other in private. In 2018, a 65-year-old in the UK was jailed for posing as a teenage boy to groomyoung girls on LiveMe, and o"ered virtual currency in exchange for teenagers exposing themselves. INAPPROPRIATE&ADULTCONTENT Live streaming apps can potentially expose young people to graphic and inappropriate content. Live.Me says it is ‘explicitly intended to be used by individuals 17 years of age or older, and those under 18 should have their parents’ permission to download and use the app’, but there are no age veri#cation checks. As soon as you open the app or website’s homepage, you are greeted with scantily clad adult broadcasters posing suggestively with captions, such as ‘Join me in bed’, and some people even have inappropriate usernames. There is every chance your child will watch content that is not suitable for them or be encouraged to share similar content themselves.

LOCATIONSHARING Publishing live video can give away clues to your child’s identity and location. Predators will search videos to identify information in the background that gives details about your child, such as street names or school uniforms. Explain to your child that they need to think carefully about where and when they broadcast live. THINKBEFOREYOUBROADCAST As with anything that is posted and shared with other people and online, remember that once it is up, it is hard to take back. Once videos are shared online, they become public. Videos can attract the attention of sex o"enders or someone may threaten to share videos with others unless the child sends money or more videos. BERESPECTFULOFOTHERS Remind your child to always consider what they are about to comment on and to think about whether they would do that in the‘real world’ or may regret posting at a later date. Encourage your child to think about the language they use online and to think carefully before commenting on content posted by someone else. DISCUSSSEXTING Although it is an awkward subject, it is important to explain to children that creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal. A young person is breaking the law if they take an explicit video of themselves or share a video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age. CYBERBULLYING Users of LiveMe can send private messages, videos and public comments to their connections. Some people can use the anonymity of the internet to be abusive towards others or threaten, tease, upset or humiliate someone else. If your child broadcasts live, there is a very high risk of receiving hurtful comments on their video. Bullying videos can also be posted on live-streaming sites, which can leave children feeling worried or helpless. One British teen told The Sun newspaper that she had been mercilessly bullied and that trolls on the app told her to "go kill yourself", and her address was even shared on Twitter as a target for burglars. PRIVACY&SECURITYCONCERNS Many of the broadcasts by teens come from their bedrooms, often sharing peeks at sleepovers, hangouts and parties. Anyone can watch live broadcasts at the LiveMe website without even registering or logging into the service (although you can’t interact with the user). By sharing too much information about their home life, your teenagers could unwittingly share their location and other identifying features with others. Last year, The Sunday Times also reported that a covert method of extracting the locations of users had been widely shared on the internet, exposing children’s addresses to predators. Sweet

SPENDINGMONEYON VIRTUALGIFTS Coins are the Live.Me currency. Viewers and broadcasters can buy coins and use them to purchase gifts or do coin drops to interact with one another. When viewers send gifts, they immediately earn the same number of diamonds. Once someone has made a certain level of diamonds, they can cash them out for real money or convert them back into coins. There is always the danger of children spending too much on in-app purchases without you knowing. Top Tips for Parents

BROADCASTINGTOSTRANGERS It is important for children to understand the risks of broadcasting live. Live-streaming services have limited privacy controls, so it is hard to know who is watching, and is di!cult to prevent people accessing the stream. Explain to your child that it is possible for any video to be recorded and shared without the permission or knowledge of the person who made the video. MONITORWHATYOURCHILDIS WATCHINGORBROADCASTING The only way to know what your child is watching or broadcasting on LiveMe is by regularly monitoring their usage. Chat to your child about what they like about LiveMe and what videos they enjoy watching. Ask themwhy they want to broadcast live and who they hope will see their videos – understanding their intention could guide you to suggest more appropriate services. DON’TSHAREPERSONAL INFORMATION Remind your child that they should never share personal information with people online, including their last name, home address, school name, or telephone number. If someone asks them for personal information, it does not mean they have to tell them anything.

REPORTINAPPROPRIATEBEHAVIOUR If someone has been acting inappropriately, you are encouraged to ask for help by emailing LiveMe@cmcm.com with the subject line ‘ATTENTION: INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR’ and send evidence, including a screenshot of their pro#le. You can also directly report inappropriate, o"ensive, and harmful content from inside the app using the Report option. However, it is worth remembering that it is not wise to screenshot and save inappropriate material. BLOCKINGPEOPLE Explain to your child that if they notice inappropriate behaviour, bullying, or any other rule-breaking conduct on LiveMe, they can block a user from chatting on their broadcast and pro#le by tapping on their name, navigating to the pro#le page, and then choosing ‘block’. RESTRICTIN$APPPURCHASES Stop your children frommaking in-app purchases by changing the app and device settings. For example, you can change the settings so a password is required to proceed with a transaction. Advise your child not to buy anything online without talking to you #rst.

SOURCES: https://www.liveme.com/safety.html | http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/paedophile-grooming-liveme-livestreaming-childabuse-a7893456.html https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/live-me-the-app-that-exposes-childrens | http://www.newschannel6now.com/2018/09/26/sheri!-children-targeted-through-live-stream-app/ https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/police-warn-liveme-app-after-14892432

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