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Do you know what your child is doing online

Stella James-Founder of Gooseberry Planet has written this informative article to help parents taking the step online with their kids…

I have been to quite a few schools lately delivering an online safety workshop showing parents what to do and how to change privacy settings etc.  It still really amazes me that the parents that turn up are the ones that don’t need the help and the parents that put it to the back of their mind are the ones that do.  Even teachers seem to have a real lack of knowledge.  Only, yesterday I had an enquiry and checked out their Facebook profile and in complete public life, this teacher’s life was there to be seen by all.  Sure, if that is how you want to live your life, go ahead, but there are pictures of her children, where they live and photos of the school.  It is easy pickings for any pedophile.

I wanted to share a little research from one of the schools we deal with, which clearly shows that our children’s interaction with being online is starting at an early age.  67% of Year 6 (10/11 year olds) are now using social media, Facebook is still the favourite, followed by Instagram and then Snapchat.  These trends are moving and the snapshot is building.  The one thing that puzzles me more is that all of these sites have an age restriction of 13.  Come on parents, what are you doing???? You might well think that, oh, it doesn’t matter, but an 11 year old does not have the mental maturity to deal with what they might see online.  My 9 year old came home last week and asked if he could have ooVoo as some of the girls in his class have it.  My answer was absolutely no.  It is so easy for a stranger to make friends with your child, all I have to say is that I am Jonny’s (friend of his) cousin and the predator is in.

Here is a list of the sites to watch out for:


Afterschool APP


Burn book







I also talk with schools on a daily basis and am finding more and more that most of the staff do not know these sites, and are not teaching our children to stay clear.  They are also not bringing the live gaming aspect and what to watch out for and lots of other areas.  The truth is they are only teaching the basic.  It isn’t their fault, how can they possibly know the ins and outs of every site.  This is why I started Gooseberry Planet, to give schools the education for the Child, Teacher and Parent all at the same time.  The Parent app is free when a school purchases our program.

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