Online Safety

There has been a lot in the media recently about the impact of social media on children, with a focus on Instagram in particular.  This month, we are sharing an article from Parent Info:

Why do kids love Instagram?

Instagram is a photo-sharing and video app with a whole lot of emphasis on sharing. Its like photo-enhanced socialising – a way of communicating mainly through images, creating ongoing mixed-media conversations that include plenty of likes.

Does Instagram have a minimum age?

Yes, it's 13, in compliance with the GDPR. But Instagram doesn’t ask users to specify their age and there are many younger children who use the service, often with their parents’ permission. Whether Instagram is 'safe' depends more on how it’s used than the age of the user, but Instagram will delete underage accounts if they’re notified and can verify that users are under 13.

What are the risks of using Instagram?

The main things parents worry about are similar to other social media: mean behaviour and inappropriate images that can hurt a child’s reputation or attract the wrong kind of attention.

What's the best way to help kids stay safe on Instagram?

Respecting ourselves and others makes us safer. Our posts and comments become part of our public image. Respecting others in the way that photos are shared, tagged and commented on reduces risk. While most kids are smart about this, parents may want to be sure their children aren't posting inappropriate photos or having inappropriate interactions with people they don't know.

Should my child's profile be private?

Having a public account on Instagram means anyone can follow you. A private account means strangers can't follow you, so many parents prefer their children to use Instagram with a private account for sharing only with friends and relatives. However, that doesn't guarantee that your child won't be seen on Instagram because people post photos of each other. So even if your child doesn't have an account, that doesn't mean they won't appear in a photo . This means it's much better for children to be aware of the implications of posting pictures of other people without their permission and to be clear about what to do if they're unhappy with images of them that have appeared.

What are Instagram Stories & Go Live?

Instagram includes a ‘Stories’ feature where users can take photos and videos, apply filters and location geo-tags and then post them. They can also upload older photos from their camera roll to their story and it will stay viewable for 24 hours. Users are told when someone takes a screen shot of their story, but not if anyone takes a screenshot of their video. As well as replying to a person's Instagram story with a written message, users can now reply with a video or photo of their own. All the camera features, including filters, stickers and video loops, are accessible when replying. The response will disappear after the recipient has viewed it and there will be a notification if it is screen shot or replayed. Users can also opt to ‘Go Live’ and stream what they are doing to their followers.

Can I see if someone has read a direct message?

If you send a direct message (DM) to one of your friends on Instagram you will be able to see when they have read it. It will show a read receipt (seen). There is no way to turn this feature off.

What is the ‘last active’ feature?

In your direct message box, you can see the people you previously messaged and when they were last active. It is easy to disable the ‘last active’ feature if you don’t want people to be able to see it. Just follow these three quick steps: 1) Go into your profile and tap on the settings 2) Scroll down to ‘Show activity status’ 3) Turn on or off depending on your preferences.

Can I see how much time my child has spent on Instagram?

Yes. Instagram has a feature that enables you to see just how much time you or your child spend on their mobile apps. You can do this on Instagram by going to Settings > Your Activity. The feature gives you an overview of your usage for the last 7 days as well as a daily average. It also gives you the option to set a daily reminder, enabling you to set time limits for yourself ranging from 1 minute to 12 hours.




If you suspect someone is using the internet to make inappropriate contact with children, use the button below to alert the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection), who will investigate. This does not report it to the school, but you can also contact a member of our Safeguarding team if you feel that you or another person is in danger.

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SSCT Online Safety Newsletters

Please find below past and current editions of the Online Safety Newsletter.

Spring 2019

Summer 2018

Spring 2018