CyberSafe Scotland

We are a social enterprise committed to protecting children in Scotland from online harms. We advise and educate young people, schools, local authorities & parents in relation to online sexual exploitation, cyberbullying and online safety and security.

Operating as usual

Fortnite gamer's mum becomes pro herself 09/09/2021

Fortnite gamer's mum becomes pro herself

Love this story this morning. Especially love her account of hiding in a corner in the game for months so she wouldn't get killed. And Half a million followers so far and a pro contract - anyone fancy a career change?! 😆 #PokemumGO #Mumgamer #Mumsontwitch

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58487025

Fortnite gamer's mum becomes pro herself Anne Fish began as her son's manager and has just signed a professional gaming contract.

27/08/2021

AFGHANISTAN FOOTAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Much of the footage on social media last night and this morning (particularly Snapchat and Tiktok, and some IG) from the explosions in Kabul yesterday and the publicity being put out by an involved group, is overwhelming. It is overwhelming for an adult let alone a child, with close up footage of injuries, trauma, and a lot of inflammatory and inaccurate commenting.

A child psychologist we have been working with recently believes that the biggest challenge to the mental health of children and young people online at the moment is the impact of them seeing so much news content alone, often in bedrooms, for long periods and in a very intense delivery (watching close up footage of the aftermath of an explosion for example, is much more intense than reading about it in a newspaper) - and we can help to reduce that sense of isolation as well as helping them deal with the content and misinformation.

TIPS:

Think about how different platforms will cover the news today - how this is different on TikTok, Snapchat and swipe platforms where shorter videos have to grab attention in the first couple of seconds.

Try not to have devices in bedrooms if at all possible, but especially at night, a lot of children are getting up in the night and putting them back on under the covers and are struggling with sleep at the moment.

Consider the impact of the use of headphones, especially for long periods and/or at night, these can increase the sense of isolation.

When coverage is intense what extra support does your child need? e.g. diversion from particular apps, alternatives from a particular device/devices altogether, or support on the platforms they’re on.

Remember how the algorithms work, once a user watches or likes one article/video on something the algorithm feeds them more of that sort of video, this is particularly overwhelming if they accidentally start viewing distressing and violent content but it also works in reverse e.g. it can feed them content from a comic they like or light relief or encouragement if we support them to/they intentionally seek it.

Remind them that you know the news is upsetting today and ask them again to show you if they see any video that’s upsetting to them or that they think might upset another child (many children find it easier to share something that way). Repeat this reminder throughout their lives until you feel like an idiot sometimes.

For as long as they will let you, ask if you can watch some of what they are watching with them. After they won’t let you anymore ask questions - stupid questions, interesting questions, questions.

Support them in reporting content that is upsetting – we were reminded recently that the reporting process is much longer than the videos themselves on a number of the platforms and that there have to be many reports (sometimes 50+, sometimes hundreds) before the platform even starts the process of removing them. Supporting your child in that process is empowering for them.

Talk about events in the news so that they have a calm and balanced perspective on what they might be seeing.

Be kind to yourself over what you might be seeing on your own phone/device and how it is making you feel – if you are starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed mentally check what you have been watching (follow the same advice about taking a break or choosing to positively influencing the algorithms that are delivering content to you by seeking encouraging, accurate and non-inflationary content)… if you are starting to feel on edge when you are on your phone or own device there’s almost always a reason.

Hope this helps a little. Do share anything else that helps in your family. We are stronger together. All the best today.

AFGHANISTAN FOOTAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA: Much of the footage on social media last night and this morning (particularly Snapchat and Tiktok, and some IG) from the explosions in Kabul yesterday and the publicity being put out by an involved group, is overwhelming. It is overwhelming for an adult let alone a child, with close up footage of injuries, trauma, and a lot of inflammatory and inaccurate commenting.

A child psychologist we have been working with recently believes that the biggest challenge to the mental health of children and young people online at the moment is the impact of them seeing so much news content alone, often in bedrooms, for long periods and in a very intense delivery (watching close up footage of the aftermath of an explosion for example, is much more intense than reading about it in a newspaper) - and we can help to reduce that sense of isolation as well as helping them deal with the content and misinformation.

TIPS:

Think about how different platforms will cover the news today - how this is different on TikTok, Snapchat and swipe platforms where shorter videos have to grab attention in the first couple of seconds.

Try not to have devices in bedrooms if at all possible, but especially at night, a lot of children are getting up in the night and putting them back on under the covers and are struggling with sleep at the moment.

Consider the impact of the use of headphones, especially for long periods and/or at night, these can increase the sense of isolation.

When coverage is intense what extra support does your child need? e.g. diversion from particular apps, alternatives from a particular device/devices altogether, or support on the platforms they’re on.

Remember how the algorithms work, once a user watches or likes one article/video on something the algorithm feeds them more of that sort of video, this is particularly overwhelming if they accidentally start viewing distressing and violent content but it also works in reverse e.g. it can feed them content from a comic they like or light relief or encouragement if we support them to/they intentionally seek it.

Remind them that you know the news is upsetting today and ask them again to show you if they see any video that’s upsetting to them or that they think might upset another child (many children find it easier to share something that way). Repeat this reminder throughout their lives until you feel like an idiot sometimes.

For as long as they will let you, ask if you can watch some of what they are watching with them. After they won’t let you anymore ask questions - stupid questions, interesting questions, questions.

Support them in reporting content that is upsetting – we were reminded recently that the reporting process is much longer than the videos themselves on a number of the platforms and that there have to be many reports (sometimes 50+, sometimes hundreds) before the platform even starts the process of removing them. Supporting your child in that process is empowering for them.

Talk about events in the news so that they have a calm and balanced perspective on what they might be seeing.

Be kind to yourself over what you might be seeing on your own phone/device and how it is making you feel – if you are starting to feel anxious or overwhelmed mentally check what you have been watching (follow the same advice about taking a break or choosing to positively influencing the algorithms that are delivering content to you by seeking encouraging, accurate and non-inflationary content)… if you are starting to feel on edge when you are on your phone or own device there’s almost always a reason.

Hope this helps a little. Do share anything else that helps in your family. We are stronger together. All the best today.

Apple allows children to access casual-sex and B**M apps, finds report 25/08/2021

Apple allows children to access casual-sex and B**M apps, finds report

APPLE PARENTAL CONTROLS: There are so many ways children and young people are targeted with adult content through platforms. Controls cannot presently filter live streamed adult content on social media etc. They must as an absolute minimum act as a reliable filter of adult content apps. The report found 37 B**M and adult content apps directly accessible to the accounts of 14 year olds using the app store even though they are rated 17+ on the app store itself.

We'll seek to meet with Apple to discuss.

We're hoping to run some sessions on the benefits and limitations of parental controls during Cyber Security Month in October - and we'll plan further support on how to talk to children about adult apps. This is just a FYI tonight in case you have children on apple devices. Don't be discouraged. Keep talking.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/aug/25/apple-allows-children-to-access-casual-sex-and-bdsm-apps-finds-report

Apple allows children to access casual-sex and B**M apps, finds report App Store gave 14-year-old’s account access to apps rated ‘17+’ even though it knew user’s self-declared age

25/08/2021

HOW DOES THE NIRVANA BABY CASE REMIND US ABOUT OUR CHILD'S RIGHT TO PRIVACY? Have you seen the news today that the baby on the cover of the Nirvana Album is suing the Nirvana estate in relation to the naked image that was used of him on their Album cover - arguing it was child po*******hy?

Reading that headline this morning brought me up sharp. It seems surprising doesn't it? On reflection I realised part of my shock came because we've almost all socially departed from the law on the privacy of children. We sort of collectively ignore it, and so anything that challenges it seems shocking, but the law remains in place. In Scotland children already have a right to privacy and that is generally seen as including a right not to have images of them shared online without their permission (even by their parents)! This right will become more enforceable as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is ratified into Scottish Law. This also includes a right not to have their images taken or shared without their permission by their friends and classmates, and their school and community groups. Teaching this is part of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland and has 2 steps 1. do you have permission to take an image? 2. do you have permission to share it? (There are exceptions - a general exception to this is where photos are taken in public situations e.g. a photo of a protest or a sports competition where lots of children are participating at the same time in a public forum).

In the Nirvana baby case the individual is taking action against effectively a large entity (the Nirvana estate) and you have to think that most children won't end up trying to enforce their right to privacy against their families BUT in France and Austria children have taken direct action against their parents for images of them that were shared. It's certainly possible that it could happen in Scotland. More importantly though, the case should remind us that children often don't want images of them shared for many reasons - and how they feel about that may vary from day to day or year to year - and we too often do it without giving them a choice. Doing this then diminishes their ability to identify any discomfort and object when others do it to them.

Anything we publish about others (and especially our children) online has to be done really carefully and respectfully and with thought as to whether they can and do consent and whether they might not want those images (or comments) online when they are older. We also have to consider the added detail of whether we/they might not consent to their images being used for the purposes of developing facial recognition technology (which we all give consent to them being used for as part of the terms and conditions whenever we publish any image on social media).

If we are going to teach them successfully about their right to privacy from others (who do not care about them as much as we as parents do) and about the seriousness of curating what they post online and being very careful about their personal information we need to be highly respectful and consult to a fault about what we as parents share about them. Today's headline was a shock for me but perhaps a needed one! It's definitely food for thought and perhaps a good starter for 10 over tea later!

HOW DOES THE NIRVANA BABY CASE REMIND US ABOUT OUR CHILD'S RIGHT TO PRIVACY? Have you seen the news today that the baby on the cover of the Nirvana Album is suing the Nirvana estate in relation to the naked image that was used of him on their Album cover - arguing it was child po*******hy?

Reading that headline this morning brought me up sharp. It seems surprising doesn't it? On reflection I realised part of my shock came because we've almost all socially departed from the law on the privacy of children. We sort of collectively ignore it, and so anything that challenges it seems shocking, but the law remains in place. In Scotland children already have a right to privacy and that is generally seen as including a right not to have images of them shared online without their permission (even by their parents)! This right will become more enforceable as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is ratified into Scottish Law. This also includes a right not to have their images taken or shared without their permission by their friends and classmates, and their school and community groups. Teaching this is part of the Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland and has 2 steps 1. do you have permission to take an image? 2. do you have permission to share it? (There are exceptions - a general exception to this is where photos are taken in public situations e.g. a photo of a protest or a sports competition where lots of children are participating at the same time in a public forum).

In the Nirvana baby case the individual is taking action against effectively a large entity (the Nirvana estate) and you have to think that most children won't end up trying to enforce their right to privacy against their families BUT in France and Austria children have taken direct action against their parents for images of them that were shared. It's certainly possible that it could happen in Scotland. More importantly though, the case should remind us that children often don't want images of them shared for many reasons - and how they feel about that may vary from day to day or year to year - and we too often do it without giving them a choice. Doing this then diminishes their ability to identify any discomfort and object when others do it to them.

Anything we publish about others (and especially our children) online has to be done really carefully and respectfully and with thought as to whether they can and do consent and whether they might not want those images (or comments) online when they are older. We also have to consider the added detail of whether we/they might not consent to their images being used for the purposes of developing facial recognition technology (which we all give consent to them being used for as part of the terms and conditions whenever we publish any image on social media).

If we are going to teach them successfully about their right to privacy from others (who do not care about them as much as we as parents do) and about the seriousness of curating what they post online and being very careful about their personal information we need to be highly respectful and consult to a fault about what we as parents share about them. Today's headline was a shock for me but perhaps a needed one! It's definitely food for thought and perhaps a good starter for 10 over tea later!

New tool for under-18s to report n**e photos of themselves online 22/06/2021

New tool for under-18s to report n**e photos of themselves online

REMOVE TOOL: Good news - a new tool is being launched for children who are worried about images/videos they have shared👇👇👇.

PLEASE NOTE it can't remove live streamed videos/snaps/tiktoks which are recorded and held or traded by the person who has received/seen them (unfortunately this remains the fastest rising area of abuse) or encrypted messages (e.g. those sent through what's app) but it can create a digital fingerprint or hash for them, so that if that person then tries to uploaded them to a URL online they can be tracked and taken down.

It can also link children who make a report to counselling and support and will inform them of the progress of their report, and it can be used day or night if a child or young person is worried or panicked.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-57562152

New tool for under-18s to report n**e photos of themselves online Children who are worried a n**e picture of them has been shared online can flag it to be removed.

15/06/2021

We are thrilled to be helping with a Technology and Computer Sciences question in the expanded TechFest essay competition this year. TechFest have done an amazing job of organising it - with lots of support and professional opportunities for everyone who enters.

Could a young person you know answer the question "What are the challenges around enforcing the 5 digital rights? Can Scotland solve them?" 🧐😍🧐

In answering it they could be helping children and young people across Scotland as well as being eligible to win up to £200 of amazon vouchers.

(There are lots of other questions they might want to consider answering too but we are a bit biased toward this one!)

Have you already registered for STEM Next – an essay competition exploring the future of #STEM research? 🧐

Don't forget you can win up to £200 worth of Amazon vouchers! Registration is open until 21st June, and you can sign up at https://www.techfestsetpoint.org.uk/education/ages-over-11/stem-next-essay

#STEM Next is an amazing opportunity for students aged 16-18 years old from across #UnitedKingdom to win brilliant money prizes and also to add additional achievements to their #UCAS applications.

In addition, students' essays will be eligible for CREST Awards and guidance on how to achieve this award will be provided as part of the competition.

Huge thanks to @Worley for sponsoring this project!

Our Story

CyberSafe Scotland are a not for profit organisation working to extinguish the online sexual exploitation of children in Scotland. Their founder worked as a barrister specialising in child sexual abuse and as an adviser to the Scottish Government in relation to the law protecting children from sexual exploitation. She analysed hundreds of cases as well as the legislation itself and became aware that sheriffs in the lower Scottish courts were reporting being inundated with cases under section 52 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (possession of indecent images of children and young people). The individuals on trial in those cases were not sophisticated paedophiles, they were husbands, brothers, supermarket workers, accountants, lawyers, friends. You would not be able to call them out from your own facebook friends lists or spot them in the street. Operation Latisse completed in July 2016 and in 6 weeks the police found 30 million indecent images of Scottish children online and found many individuals who had managed to make contact with hundreds of individual children. CyberSafe Scotland was born to ensure all parents, teachers and children in Scotland have consistent education to prevent online sexual exploitation and increase cyber resilience. We are grateful for you support in promoting this knowledge and ensuring that every child is empowered to protect themselves online.

Videos (show all)

Cyber Scotland Week Online Safety Facebook Live
HELPING YOUR CHILD RESPOND TO TRAUMATIC CONTENT ONLINE
Change your phone to Black and White!
Safer Youtube in One Minute

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