22/01/2022: NCA says end-to-end encryption poses challenge for law enforcers on child abuse

The National Crime Agency has said that end-to-end encryption risks “turning the lights out” for law enforcers trying to prevent child abuse, after the UK data watchdog said failure to introduce strongly encrypted messaging poses a risk to children. The NCA said referrals from social media companies led to 500 arrests and safeguarded 650 children every month in the UK, but that will become “much more challenging” to achieve under widespread use of end-to-end encryption.

Read: Guardian

18/01/2022: 2022 Online Safety Live Events Available For UK Safer Internet Centre

What better way to start the new year than being kept up-to-date on the latest online safety news? The UK Safer Internet Centre runs free Online Safety Live events throughout the year, available to any professional who works with children and young people. The information provided can assist police officers, social care workers, foster carers, safeguarding professionals and many more, as well as teachers

Read: South West Grid for Learning

14/01/2022: The Evolution of Online Safety in Gaming

We see ourselves living in an ‘online’ world, surrounded by devices, constantly interacting, socialising and communicating with ease on a daily basis. It’s quite amazing really, particularly when you look back and see how things used to be. It’s fair to say that gaming has changed and adapted rapidly, across the modern era.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

13/01/2022: Surge in online sexual abuse of young children

Online sexual abuse of young children aged between seven and 10 increased three-fold last year, new research shows. The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has warned that younger children are being targeted by online groomers “on an industrial scale”.

Read: Children and Young People Now

13/01/2022: 2021 was worst year on record for online child sexual abuse, says IWF

Internet grooming of children has surged during lockdown, according to new research that found a threefold increase in online sexual abuse imagery featuring seven to 10-year-olds.

Read: Guardian

13/01/2022: Three-fold increase of abuse imagery of 7-10-year-olds as IWF detects more child sexual abuse material online than ever before

Last year was the worst year on record for child sexual abuse online as lockdowns saw younger and younger children being targeted “on an industrial scale” by internet groomers. New figures show that, in 2021, the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) took action against 252,000 URLs which it confirmed contained images or videos of children being raped and suffering sexual abuse.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

11/01/2022: Fighting the darknet drug dealers who keep coming back

Claire Campbell’s 16-year-old son, Luke, died after taking ecstasy bought by friends on the darknet – a part of the internet that can only be accessed with special software. One of the biggest illegal marketplaces on there, Torrez, went offline last month after two years of selling Class A drugs, counterfeit cash and hacking tools. But one darknet drug dealer has told the BBC that law enforcement face an “impossible task” trying to close down such sites.

Read: BBC

11/01/2022: Young people lead research into impact of knife images on social media

The impact of social media images of knives on young Londoners will be examined in new research conducted by a group of young people. Young People’s Action Group is working with London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) to examine the perception of knife carrying in London, and young people’s response to knife imagery, working specifically with Londoners aged between 16 and 25.

Read: Children and Young People Now

09/01/2022: UK data watchdog seeks talks with Meta over child protection concerns

The UK’s data watchdog is seeking clarification from Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta about parental controls on its popular virtual reality headset, as campaigners warned that it could breach an online children’s safety code.

Read: Guardian

07/01/2022: Get Ready for Safer Internet Day 2022

While we all may be getting back in the swing of things, there’s already plenty to look forward to for the new school term. Safer Internet Day is just over a month away and there’s already so much you can do to get involved. Take a look at some of the activities you can do below to show your support on the 8th February 2022.

Read: South West Grid for Learning

03/01/2022: Glorification of Plymouth shooter by ‘incels’ prompts calls for action

The man who gunned down seven people, killing five, in a rampage in Plymouth is being lionised by an online “incel” community, with some ironically venerating him as a “saint” and celebrating the attack as an aid to their recruitment drive.

Read: Guardian

16/12/2021: How to talk to your children about porn and other online harms

The children’s commissioner for England is advising parents to broach such topics early to limit future risks

Read: Guardian

16/12/2021: The IWF partners with the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children to launch portal to report child sexual abuse material

The online portal, hosted on ICMEC’s website, allows concerned internet users who do not have access to their own national reporting mechanism to easily and anonymously report child sexual abuse material on the internet.

Read: Internet Watch Foundation

15/12/2021: Three in five LGBTQ+ young people abused online

Around 60 per cent of young LGBTQ+ people have been subjected to hate speech online, a survey has revealed. The survey, of more than 1,500 young people, found that three in five of those from the LGBTQ+ community had experienced hateful content online that had made them upset. In comparison 41 per cent of heterosexual young people said they had experienced such content.

Read: Children and Young People Now

15/12/2021: Updated TikTok Checklist Available to Download

We have brought out an updated TikTok checklist available to download. Last week we hosted an online event with TikTok titled ‘Exploring Media Literacy’ where the new checklist was introduced. The event also highlighted some of the latest privacy and security settings made available on the online platform. The checklist breaks down how users can perform certain actions to keep their profiles more in their control.

Read: South West Grid for Learning