This week our Safeguarding team have had concerns raised by students and parents about an internet trend known as Momo.
Momo is the name for a hideous looking avatar being used by cyber criminals and trolls internationally across the internet and is spreading into the UK at an alarming rate.
You should read the links below to appraise yourselves fully of the problem, but basically Momo will set you a challenge or a dare to complete with a warning that if you fail to complete it then something bad will happen. These challenges and warnings can be very upsetting for students and their parents.
The police are stating the aim behind this is to steal data and gain access to personal accounts.
As a school we will be monitoring the situation closely and liaising with local police for updates. Advice from police and child safeguarding organisations can be found below.
Police have appealed to parents to not simply focus on Momo, urging them to:
Ensure they know what their children can access online
Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
Tell their children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
Use parental controls to keep children safe
The NSPCC publishes advice and guidance for parents on discussing online safety with their children, as well as Net Aware – the UK’s only parental guide to social media and gaming apps.”
Among the most common signs to watch out for include children who:
Become very secretive, especially about what they are doing online
Are spending a lot of time on the internet and social media
Are switching screens on their device when approached
Are withdrawn or angry after using the internet or sending text messages
Have lots of new phone numbers or email addresses on their devices
If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children, they can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website.
Please follow the links below to gain a better understanding.