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Risks & of self-generated imagery

In previous blog posts we have talked about the importance of using parental controls in the when it comes to helping with online safety.

According to data from The Internet Watch Foundation in 2020 they confirmed ‘68,000 cases of self-generated imagery, a rise of 77% on 2019 and self-generated imagery accounts for nearly half (44%) the imagery we took action that year. In 80% of these cases, the victims were 11 to 13-year-old girls.+

What is self-generated imagery?

Self-generated content can include child sexual abuse content created using a smartphone, tablet or webcam, sometimes in the child’s own room, and then shared online.

In many cases, children can be coerced, deceived or extorted into producing and sharing a sexual image or video of themselves.

In many cases this goes on without the victims’ parents’ or guardians’ knowledge.

Should Parents be concerned? 

Naturally Parents and Carers will be worried and concerned.  Any child, no matter what their background, with unrestricted access to internet-connected devices, is at risk.

What can Parents do?

As part of the Internet Watch Foundation campaign, parents are encouraged to T.A.L.K to their children about the dangers:

  • Talk to your child about online sexual abuse. Start the conversation – and listen to their concerns.
  • Agree ground rules about the way you use technology as a family.
  • Learn about the platforms and apps your child loves. Take an interest in their online life.
  • Know how to use tools, apps and settings that can help to keep your child safe online.

While many parents and carers will feel worried or concerned it’s important to understand that taking the above steps will often help as a first line of defence. Keep in mind that technology is always evolving and keeping up to date can sometimes seem like an uphill challenge.

What we have found over the years in our work with parents, carers and young people is that evolving the education, as well as the conversation is key. These days it spans beyond just online safety, as technology impacts so many different areas of our lives especially now with Covid-19.

When it comes to parental controls, specifically keep in mind that devices in your home such as smartphones and tablets (both android and Apple) all now offer screen time tools.  iOS (Apple Devices) will give you, as a parent, the ability to set;

  • Downtime
  • App Limits
  • Communication Limits
  • Always Allowed
  • Content & Privacy Restrictions. 

It’s always a good idea to set these up on all devices which children and teenagers in your home have access to. This is what we call device-specific settings which adds an extra layer of coverage to the parental control solution you have in place.

Attend a Workshop and tell your child’s school about Student Sessions

To attend a workshop in your school or community which can help you understand the risks and dangers, practical things you can do and digital wellness, resilience, self-regulating and the impact which technology, social media and the internet can have on our mental health and wellbeing. – both negative and positive.

All of our workshops have been created with an understanding of the complexities of parenting in the digital age. We are parents ourselves and understand we need to provide parents with up to date, realistic, practical, and engaging online safeguarding workshops.

Want to know more about booking a workshop with us? Click Here

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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