NSPCC Local Campaigns Manager Emma Motherwell takes a look at the apps and sites children are using and how you can help keep them safe.
Today we’re looking at one of the most popular social networks – Reddit (www.reddit.com).
Reddit is a community forum which allows people to write posts and upload images and videos which other users can comment on. The more popular a post is the higher up it appears on the website.
Users can search for posts on specific topics, or by different communities and these can be subscribed to if you’ve got an account – although you don’t need one to access content.
Recently we asked children and young people to review Reddit and seven per cent of them thought it was unsafe. The main things they told us they didn’t like were:
- Seeing inappropriate content.
- The content isn’t always truthful.
- People can say mean things in the comments.
But they also told us they like to use it to find out about what’s going on in the world, it makes them laugh and they like sharing opinions.
The minimum age recommended by Reddit is 13 years but when we asked a panel of parents to review the site, they felt the minimum age should be set at 15. They were concerned about sexual content, violence and references to drink, drugs and crime.
There are plenty of ways you can help keep your children safe online while still enjoying all the great things the internet has to offer
Make sure you check the privacy settings on your child’s account. Simply go to Privacy Shortcuts, then Privacy Check-up in the help and settings menu.
A bit baffled by technology? Don’t worry our O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline can help you to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or get advice on social networks. You can call us free on 0808 800 5002.
Prefer to speak to someone face to face? Just pop into your nearest O2 store and book a free in-store appointment with an O2 Online Safety Guru (even if you’re not with O2).
It’s really important that parents talk to their children about being safe online, spotting the signs of inappropriate behaviour, and how to report it. The easiest way to do this is to explore sites and apps together; talk about things you might see online which make them feel uncomfortable; reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them; and talk to them about what is, and is not, ok to share online.
You can find more information about Reddit and other apps at www.net-aware.org.uk or call the O2 NSPCC Online Safety Helpline for free on 0808 800 5002.