Internet Matters March Newsletter 
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Hi <<First Name>>, 

Welcome to our monthly newsletter highlighting our key pieces of activity for February and the latest news about children online safety.

Among the big announcements was our work with Halifax, helping parents support children when online banking and the launch of our new Set Up Safe guides on Safer Internet Day. We also saw the increase in concern surrounding the Roblox gaming platform, the launch of Google Family Link for Parents in the UK and an event spearheaded by the Duke of Cambridge focused on mental health and the Stop, Speak, Support campaign.

Giving parents tools to support teens with online banking 

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Joining forces with Halifax last month, we created a video to help parents talk to their children about the importance of safe online banking.  

It came as figures from Halifax found online banking is up 40% among teenagers and they're far more likely to ask for a bank transfer over cash. Our own research also revealed that online fraud was a major concern for 7 out of 10 parents. 

In addition to the parent video, Halifax have also created a Teen Money series for children, centred around helping them spot fraud and avoid online scams that encourage children to share their bank details. The parent video is currently being used across all Halifax branches when parents visit to open a children’s account - helping them to understand some of the dangers online and how to avoid them.

Parents respond to new Set Up Safe guides

Social Networking

To amplify the Safer Internet Day theme 'create, connect and share respect, a better internet starts with you', we had great deal of support from our partners to launch our new Set Up Safe guides, giving parents simple steps to activate the right controls across their children devices, social, network and gaming platforms to give them a safer space to explore online.

We had a fantastic response from parents and welcomed a surge of over 400,000 visits to the site during the campaign. Among the activity on the day was EE who announced their partnership with us via text and email to their customers and invited parents to bring their children devices in store for support on setting up controls. BT also amplified the Safer Internet Day message on the BT Tower and hosted an event at BT Centre showcasing the great work of young people and the level of support given to raise awareness of Safer Internet Day.

Duke of Cambridge and Professor Green highlight mental health and Stop, Speak, Support campaign 

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The Duke of Cambridge surprised pupils at Burlington Danes Academy in West London to discuss the Stop, Speak, Support campaign. Joined by Professor Green and The Vamps on February 8, The Duke took part in a Q&A with students surrounding mental health and cyberbullying. The visit, which was hosted by YouTuber Dan Howell, marked Children’s Mental Health Week and gave Prince William the opportunity to speak directly to teenagers about issues they face.

During the visit, The Duke spoke to teenage girls and urged them not to compare themselves to images of women they see online reminding them ‘touched-up images’ aren’t real. He also spoke to them about The Royal Foundation’s Stop, Speak, Support campaign and how they need to help their peers online.

Internet Matters is continuing to support the Stop, Speak, Support by offering tips to parents on how to encourage their child to adopt the three-point code.

In the News

Roblox raises concerns over adult content

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Children's online game Roblox hit headlines last month over fears children were being exposed to nudity and 'very adult things' on the popular app.

Bredhurst Church of England Primary School issued a warning after speaking to children, who said they had online friends who they wouldn't tell their parents about - with many kids admitting they had maxed out their account with 200 friends. 

The letter, which was shared nationwide across social media, read: "Many of the children stated they had received in-game messages from strangers and they hadn’t told their parents.

“All of the children said they had seen naked characters walking around the game and doing very adult things.”

Roblox insisted that safety of their community was 'a top priority' and they're continually assessing safety measures and issued a call to parents to get in touch to raise issues or concerns adding: "We want all users to be safe on Roblox, and we will continue to invest in the safety of the game so it is a positive, productive, fun and protected space for our community.  We would like to hear from parents if they have questions or suggestions.” To support parents we have created a simple guide on how to set controls on the platform and provided more advice about Roblox with the help of Pocket-lint tech and games expert Andy Robertson.

Google Family Link comes to the UK
Social Networking

Google has announced the arrival of Google Family Link to the UK. The app helps parents set online guidelines for their children and stay on top of their child’s online activities as they explore the internet using an Android device or iPhone. 

By using Family Link, parents can help manage the apps their child can use; approve or block the apps the child wants to download from the Google Play Store, keep an eye on screen time, see how much time they spend online with weekly or monthly activity reports, set device bedtime, see their child's location and remotely lock the device.

To help children navigate the online world, Google is committing to reaching 1 million children through its Be Internet Legends and Be Internet Citizens programmes. Find out more here.

See this month’s What The Experts Say on parental controls here.

Encourage parents to share the Stop, Speak, Support code with their children.

Visit our HUB for the latest news and opinions.

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