Online Safety News

May 2024


What Parents and Carers need to know about WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a global popular social media app and messaging service, with around two billion users exchanging texts, photos, videos, and documents, as well as making voice and video calls online. It’s end-to-end encryption, meaning that messages can only be viewed by the sender and any receivers being sent the texts: not even the WhatsApp company themselves can examine these messages being sent. Recent updates to its privacy policy in the year 2021 (involving sharing data with parent company Facebook) caused millions to leave the app. However, the new policy was widely misinterpreted – it only related to WhatsApp’s business features, not to personal messages.


Contact from Strangers

To start a WhatsApp chat, you only need the mobile number of the person you want to message (the other person also needs the app on their mobile device). WhatsApp can access the address book on someone else’s device and recognise which of their contacts also own and use the app. If your child has ever given their phone number to another person (or a stranger online), that person who has their mobile’s phone number could use it to contact them via WhatsApp.


Disappearing Messages

Users can set WhatsApp messages to disappear in 24 hours, 7 days, or 90 days by default. Photos and videos can also be instructed to disappear after the viewer has seen them. These files can’t be saved or forwarded – so if your child was sent an inappropriate message, it would be difficult to prove any wrong-doing. However, the receiver can also take a screenshot and save that as evidence.


Y6 Safeguarding officers


April 2024
You must be over 13 years of age to use TikTok. Users can watch musical clips, record clips (it includes lots of lip synching and dancing), edit them and add special effects.
Why should I be concerned?
You need to be aware that some of the videos may contain explicit language and sexual imagery, which may not be suitable for your child to view. There is also the risk of strangers contacting your child so make sure you have set up the appropriate settings. If your child is using TikTok then we recommend setting the account as private (this is the default setting for users under 16 since Jan 2021).
Even with a private account, your child’s profile information such as their photo and bio are still visible so ensure your child understands the importance of not adding personal information (e.g. location, age and phone numbers) to this area. This article explains how you can strengthen your privacy settings and what features are turned off by default for accounts for children aged 13 – 15: Family Pairing
This allows parents to link their own TikTok account to their child’s account. This will allow you to set controls such as restricted mode (limit the appearance of inappropriate content) and screen time management (control how long they can spend on TikTok each day).
March 2024
Spring Term Newsletter
Our Spring Term Newsletter has arrived. This term has been created alongside our KS2 Safeguarding Champions.
Find lots of information on how to stay safe, as well as some information on hot topics highlighted by our Safeguarding Champions!
February 2024
This month St Cuthbert's will be celebrating Safer Internet day on 6th February. 

Safer Internet Day 2024 will take place on the 6th of February 2024, with celebrations and learning based around the theme ‘Inspiring change? Making a difference, managing influence and navigating change online’.

Safer Internet Day is the UK’s biggest celebration of online safety.

Check out the parent and Carer links below to help continue to spread awareness and celebrate at home. 

January 2024
 Welcome back. 
This month we are highlighting how to set up device safety. This may include age restrictions, screen time control or filtering systems. 
Visit your internet provider's website to find out how you can filter your Wifi connection. 
Check out our guides below from National Safety online to help us set up controls. 
December 2023
Autumn Term Online Safety Newsletter. 
Our first newsletter of this academic year has arrived. Find lots of information on how to stay safe, as well as some information on hot topics highlighted by our Safeguarding Champions!
National Online Safety have also created a great guide below to support parents when setting up new devices this Christmas time. 
Merry Christmas everyone!
November 2023
Anti-Bullying Week
Anti-Bullying Week took place from 14th to 18th November and had the theme Reach Out.
Find some top tips from National Online Safety on combat online bullying
National Online Safety - Online Bullying — Ryburn Valley High School
October 2023
New Communication app- Bunch : Hangout & Play games

What is it?

Bunch is group video chat with friends while playing your favourite multiplayer online games .

Keeping Safe

It is live interaction so you never know what will be viewable. However, if you are only friends with people you know and trust

Common Sense Media have
excellent review of this app.


September 2022
Welcome back!
A  new school year is a great time to check and revise the controls and permissions your child has on their devices. As children return to school, often their online communication can increase. 
>> Ensure you know and understand the apps or websites your child is accessing to communicate with others
>> Be aware of Social Media, gaming and streaming (including TV services) age ratings and the reasons for this. Parent Zone has some excellent advice to support this.
>> Talk online safety. Have a chat with your child about how to stay safe online and what to do if they see anything they are unsure of. The NSPCC has some great resources!

St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust

A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number No 7841435.

Registered Office: Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9YH