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Welcome back to Safeguarding Soundbites – the mini podcast about online safeguarding with me, Colin Stitt, Head of Safer Schools at INEQE Safeguarding Group. This week I’ll be talking about Children’s Mental Health Week and looking at this week’s most important online safeguarding news.

Now, we all know that children can be incredibly resilient – but with everything they’ve faced in the last few years, it’s important for us to keep an eye on their mental health and that’s why for this year’s children’s mental health week, here at INEQE we’re encouraging you to make sure you’re mental-health aware when it comes to your children. Find our article with all the latest stats and top tips on how to talk to children about their mental health, in our online safety section.

In the news this week, the Online Safety Bill may be bringing about changes when it comes to age verifications on sites that host pornography and pornographic material. Websites like Reddit, Google and Twitter, alongside pornographic websites could be required to verify users via ID before they access the sites.

This week saw Safer Internet Day and some apps and platforms chose to launch new features to help their users stay safer online. Facebook Messenger added tips to help users understand their options when engaging in potentially unsafe interaction, and Instagram added several new features, including a ‘Security Check-up’ tool, which takes users through the steps needed to secure their account, like reviewing their profile information.

With Valentine’s Day upon us, our team have looked at why dating apps may be gaining popularity among young people – especially as increasingly mainstream apps have begun using similar features to engage and attract young people. Young People & Dating Apps will release on the 14th of February. Our latest article gives you key insights to digital dating trends and highlights the key risks they may pose as well as practical tips for how you can effectively respond and navigate the topic with the young people in your care.

Thank you for listening and, again, we love to hear your feedback so please get in touch via our website, email or social media. Have a great week and stay safe!

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