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

Welcome to our March newsletter.

Tackling internet safety today is about setting standards for future generations. The challenge is to ensure the digital world is a place people are free to express opinions, explore, learn and have fun - away from hatred and abuse. While the industry is constantly evolving to improve and build on what they can do to make this happen and organisations like ours play their own part in this, one of the most powerful tools in child internet safety is the sharing of knowledge.

So we’re pleased this month to be able to talk about our new initiative where the power of sharing is at the heart of a safer internet: the groundbreaking 'Make a noise' reporting tool.

120,000 Children given new lifeline to report bullying

Social Networking

Internet Matters in partnership with tootoot, and supported by the Department of Education, has launched a pilot online service, to report bullying and cyberbullying concerns - called ‘Make a noise’.

The programme, which launched in Wakefield last week,  is being rolled out to 300 schools throughout the country over the next nine months. allows young people, parents and teachers report bullying and cyberbullying via an online platform, confidentially, and through a 24-hour monitored programme.

The platform also hosts a raft of bespoke information and resources to support them – specifically helping them understand what bullying & cyberbullying is and how best to deal with it.

The ‘Make a noise’ initiative will reach approximately 4,500 teachers and educate 60,000 parents about how to protect their children from bullying and cyberbullying and will enable 120,000 students to report incidents and access comprehensive advice & guidance.

The programme is one of four programmes to benefit from £1.6million over two years from the Department of Education designed to tackle bullying in schools.

The next workshop will be hosted in Warrington on 27 March with four more workshops to soon follow.

If you would like information on how to register a school for the programme please click here.

Internet Matters welcomes Dr Linda Papadopoulos

Social Networking

The psychological impact of online issues such as cyberbullying, sexting and body-image is recurring theme in child internet safety.

Knowing it is important to give parents advice on how to cope with this, we’re pleased to announce the renowned psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos as our new ambassador.

She is looking forward to working with us on a series of campaigns and projects over the next 12 months, bringing her specialism in self-esteem and the psychological effects of growing up in a digital age.

A respected psychologist Dr Linda was named as one of London's top 20 therapists by The Evening Standard, and regularly appears on Sky News, BBC Breakfast, ITV's This Morning, Channel 5 and ITN, which she manages to squeeze in between being a mother, a lecturer, an author and a practicing psychologist.

We welcome Dr Linda to the team and look forward to her input in adding a new dimension to what we do.

Internet Matters supports Internet Safety Strategy

Social Networking

Internet Matters this week welcomed an announcement by the culture secretary as she revealed plans for a new Internet Safety Strategy.

Karen Bradley told how parents needed to 'face up to the dangers' of the internet urging them to have 'uncomfortable conversations' about sexting with their children.

She also said she hoped that Britain would become the 'safest place in the World' for children using the internet as she revealed social media and technology companies could face tougher sanctions if they fail to tackle cyberbullying, trolling and sexting.

Ms Bradley has commissioned Professor Sonia Livingstone to compile a report on the dangers facing children online.

Ms Bradley said: "The internet has provided young people with amazing opportunities but has also introduced a host of new dangers which children and parents have never faced before."

View the full announcement here.

The secret online life of six-year-olds
Social Networking

Our research into the digital habits of six-year-olds made national news headlines across TV, radio, newspapers and websites.

The eye-opening figures released last month highlighted how quickly young children are advancing online - with six-year-olds as advanced today as 10-year-olds were three years ago.

The statistics, which were released to mark Safer Internet Day on February 7th, revealed the rapid pace of change in technology.

They also served as a reminder to parents the risks young children face online and how vital it is for devices to be set up safely.

Twitter announces new safety changes

Social Networking

Twitter announced three new safety changes in a bid to clamp down on harassment and abuse.

The social media site which stands for freedom of expression, has given users the opportunity to have more control over what they see.

They are aiming to stop the creation of new abusive accounts by identifying those who set them up. The new measures will target accounts that display extreme behaviour.

Secondly, they are establishing a 'safe search' option that will remove Tweets with potentially offensive content.

And the social media leader has also been working on collapsing abusive or 'low quality' tweets from feeds so that the most relevant conversations are more visible.

The changes are being rolled out in the upcoming weeks.

Internet Matters supports no tech for Breck

Social Networking

Internet Matters supported The Breck Foundation’s No Tech For Breck, between February 7 and 17.  

Schools, individuals and families signed up to have a digital detox.

For a period of 24 hours, those who took part switched off all mobile devices and took the time to focus on real life relationships and activities.

The Breck Foundation was set up in memory of Breck Bednar 14, who loved technology and online gaming but was sadly groomed online and murdered in February 2014.

Its core aim is to help other young people enjoy playing and socialising online safely by giving them the information and tools they need and encouraging them to ‘Play virtual, Live real’.

Visit our HUB for the latest news and opinions.

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