Last Updated on 21st January 2022

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Welcome back to Safeguarding Soundbites with me, Colin Stitt, Head of Safer Schools at Ineqe Safeguarding Group. This is our weekly podcast that gives you a round-up of everything that’s happened in online safeguarding news this week and highlights the latest advice and alerts from our Online Safeguarding Experts.

This week we were alerted to reports of children as young as six discussing an online horror character called ‘Slender Man’. Our online safety experts have taken a deeper look and issued a Safeguarding Alert to address any risks or red flags. Our latest article provides top tips for parents, carers, and safeguarding professionals who are concerned that children in their care may have been exposed to harmful content. To learn more please visit our website.

We have recently received a lot of reports from concerned parents and school staff about inappropriate content that’s being found within Roblox, particularly in the game Brookhaven. Younger children are being sent friend requests from strangers and also have been exposed to sexualised content, with in-game characters imitating sexual acts. You can learn more about this and get advice on what to do next in our safeguarding update on our website at ineqe.com.

For many people across the world the last two years have not just been scary, worrying, and confusing but also incredibly lonely. And young people are no exception to that. In times of feeling isolated and alone, more and more are turning to the digital world to find friendship. For some that has come in the form of websites, apps and platforms that use AI technology to create friendship bots. One such site is Replika, the AI bot that promises it’s always there to listen, talk and be on your side. But are these bots healthy for children and young people or might they be causing and compounding further feelings of loneliness? Visit our online safety section at ineqe.com to find out more.

In the news this week, Meta not only continues to face legal troubles in the US but now might be in hot water here in the UK too. A class-action lawsuit claims the company abused its market dominance to exploit user’s personal data. And those selling crypto assets could also be in trouble with the law if they don’t follow the new laws being passed that will regulate advertising to ensure consumers know exactly what they’re buying, including the risks.

Thank you for listening and we love to hear your feedback so please get in touch via our website, email, or social media. Have a great week and stay safe!

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Safeguarding Alert – Slender Man

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What You Need to Know About Replika

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Roblox: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children

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A Beginner’s Guide to NFTs

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Tackling Conspiracy Theories

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