Social media damages teenagers’ health according to latest study

  • Teenagers’ mental health is being damaged by heavy social media use, a report has found.
  • Research from the Education Policy Institute and The Prince’s Trust said wellbeing and self-esteem were similar in all children of primary school age.
  • Boys and girls’ wellbeing is affected at the age of 14, but girls’ mental health drops more after that, it found.
  • A lack of exercise is another contributing factor – exacerbated by the pandemic, the study said.
  • According to the research:
    • One in three girls was unhappy with their personal appearance by the age of 14, compared with one in seven at the end of primary school 
    • The number of young people with probable mental illness has risen to one in six, up from one in nine in 2017
    • Boys in the bottom set at primary school had lower self-esteem at 14 than their peers

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Pricey broadband ‘locks poorest out’ of key services

  • One in six households is struggling to afford broadband during the current UK lockdowns, according to a survey by Citizens Advice.
  • The charity warned that the poorest people were effectively being “locked out” of access to key services.
  • Only three of the 13 largest broadband providers offer affordable tariffs for those on low-income benefits, it said.
  • It is calling on the government to force providers to offer cheaper plans to people struggling financially.
  • Citizens Advice also wants the telecoms regulator Ofcom to take action.
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Emotet botnet taken down by international police swoop

  • Police have seized thousands of computers running one of the most dangerous hacking networks worldwide
  • The Emotet network obtains access to victims’ computers, via malicious email attachments, then sells it to criminals who install more dangerous malware
  • Police from the UK, EU, US and Canada worked together to “disrupt” Emotet
  • Europol called it “one of most significant botnets of the past decade” and one of the main “door openers” for computer systems worldwide
  • “Once this unauthorised access was established, these were sold to other top-level criminal groups to deploy further illicit activities such as data theft and extortion through ransomware,” it said
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Social workers fear a huge increase in workload after lockdown restrictions

  • Social workers are braced for a “tsunami of needs” as the UK recovers from the pandemic, a union has warned
  • The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) expects workloads to increase as restrictions are lifted
  • One worker described a “big surge” in referrals after the first lockdown and the fears of missing something that is wrong
  • Officials in all four nations praised the efforts of social workers and highlighted schemes to help vulnerable children that had been established during  the pandemic
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