School Holiday Online Safety Support.
School holidays can be the perfect time to relax, sunbathe and spend time with family. However, for many of us, we’ll turn to our phones and devices for entertainment or distraction. This is especially true for children and young people, who may spend more time online over the holidays.
Follow our Share Aware TEAM tips:
- Talk to your child regularly about what they are doing online and how to stay safe. Let your child know they can come to you or another trusted adult if they’re feeling worried or upset by anything they have seen. Sign up to our icebreaker email series and get top tips for great conversations sent straight to your inbox.
- Explore sites and apps together with your child. Understand why they like using them and make sure they know what they can do to keep themselves safe, including what personal information they should not share online. Learn more about the most popular apps on Net Aware.
- Agree your own rules as a family when using sites, apps and games. This will help your children to understand what is okay and what is not okay when they’re online. You can use our Family Online Agreement template to help you get started.
- Manage your technology by using parental controls to block upsetting or inappropriate content.
The multiplayer action survival game, Fortnite: Battle Royale, has received a lot of media coverage recently due to growing popularity amongst children – and also emerging safety concerns. We’ve pulled together some information about the game and how to keep your children safe while playing it.
Players can currently play Fortnite: Battle Royale on a PC, Mac, Xbox, and PlayStation or download it from the App Store. Use of the game has grown rapidly amongst children and young people since the launch of the mobile game in March 2018. As of 2nd May, the app version is only available on iOS but an Android release is expected shortly. The game involves 100 players fighting each other in real time to be the final survivor.
What features and risks are there on Fortnite?
Fortnite: Battle Royale has several features that can be fun, but there are also risks. These include:
- Players can add friends in the mobile game if they have an account with Epic, the game’s developer. Friends can be added by username in the game’s main menu.
- There is a chat feature in the game that allows users to contact each other using voice or text. You can disable voice chat in the game by selecting the 3 lines in the top right of the screen, select the settings icon, choose the ‘Audio’ tab at the top of the screen and go to the ‘Voice Chat’ option, where you can select ‘Off’.
- There is cartoon violence in the game. You can use a variety of weapons to kill other players, such as guns and axes.
- There are in-app purchases, which can become expensive.
- Players can be reported to the Player Support team if you are concerned about activity or behaviour.
Here are the recommended age ratings for the game:
- Epic Games: Fortnite Battle Royale says it does not direct the game to children under the age of 13 in the UK.
- The PEGI rating for this game is 12 years old. However, PEGI does not take chat features into consideration when rating games. You can find out more about age ratings here.
- The App Store says that users must be 12+ to play.
Follow our TEAM tips to help keep your child safe online when playing online games:
- Talk to your child regularly about what they are doing online and how to stay safe. Let them know they can come to you or another trusted adult if they’re feeling worried or upset by anything they have seen. You can use our conversation starters to support you when starting these conversations.
- Explore your child’s online activities with your child. Understand why they like using them and make sure they know what they can do to keep themselves safe.
- Agree your own rules as a family when using sites, apps and games. You can use our Family Agreement template to help you get started.
- Manage your technology and use the settings available to keep your child safe.