Use of video software has increased greatly since we’ve all been staying at home. It’s a brilliant way of keeping in touch with family and friends. There are lots of platforms to choose from but they all need the same basic e-safety advice:
1. All have age restrictions above Year 6 (13+, 16+ 18+ etc.) so they should only be used by your children when you are present.
2. They should only be used to communicate with people you and your children know in person, not anonymous ‘online friends’.
3. Just as you would in person, always consider what you and your children are wearing, where you are, what you are saying, and who & what is in the background during the video chat. Is it suitable for the audience? It’s easy to forget who is listening in or watching out of shot when conversations are taking place via a small screen.
More generally, there are lots of companies offering free online access to their content at this time. The vast majority have good intentions, but please ensure that you don’t sign up for something that will cost you money needlessly in the future, and that the content of the sites & apps (including adverts) is appropriate for your children.
When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. That is why the government is now (23 March 2020) introducing three new measures.
Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes
Closing non-essential shops and community spaces
Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public
Every citizen must comply with these new measures. The relevant authorities, including the police, will be given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.
These measures are effective immediately. The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.