As a father of 3 children, there’s never a dull moment in our household that’s for sure! We have two daughters, aged 8 and 5, along with a son aged 3. They all enjoy going online to play games and watch videos on YouTube which is quite scary when you think about it!
They all share an iPhone and then sometimes use my wife’s phone too. They love downloading new games all the time and our eldest daughter is at an age where she knows what she can and can’t download by looking at the age on apps. But we still don’t know for sure whether an app is truly safe just going off the age indicator. There’s also videos on YouTube and other streaming sites that appear to be for kids but things have been weaved into them that aren’t suitable for children. I can think of various stories over the years of particular videos that have been flagged by thousands of parents that fall into this category.
It’s so crucial to ensure our kids are safe online because there’s so many people out there just waiting to take advantage of their innocence. Now that sounds quite drastic but it’s a harsh truth all parents need to be aware of.
Keeping Our Kids Safe Online
That’s where National Online Safety come in – they deliver award winning courses and educational resources to help keep the whole school community safe online.
Since March, the whole world has been thrown into the unknown with a pandemic that has impacted pretty much every aspect of our lives. Schools were closed for a long period of time: this meant that more children than ever were then going online to access the materials they needed to continue learning. This behaviour is only set to continue going into next year so it has never been more important to be aware of the dangers posed to your children within the online world!
National Online Safety recognised the crucial need to increase the amount of training resources and courses they provide, to best serve a world where face-to-face contact is now limited.
That’s why they’ve developed a new app, so parents have all the needed information right at their fingertips.
Testing it out
I sat down with my eldest daughter and went through the app with her. It was actually quite scary that she knew many of the games and platforms being talked about, but I’d never heard of them!
We talked about some of the games she had played in the past, and went through the safety tips together. It was super helpful and allowed me and my daughter to have an open discussion about the dangers of these games. She is really cautious of things anyway but I am definitely going to sit down with her more often and just talk about the games she’s recently played, and then use National Online Safety’s app to help her understand the dangers involved.
Many parents have expressed the difficulty of keeping up to date with all the latest games and apps being launched. Well if your reading this and thinking, yes that’s me …. I really do urge you to download this brilliant app for free of charge, so you can have all the information you need right in front of you.
The app also allows you to have notifications turned on, so whenever new guides or resources are added, you will be notified straight away. This means you can be up to date right from day 1 of any new app or game launch.
National Online Safety’s app has loads of great features, giving parents like myself the knowledge needed in order keep our children safe. They’ve even teamed up with Myleene Klass to deliver a series of video courses designed just for parents, all of which can be accessed on the app.
I had a look at the app and explored some of these features for myself, which you can read about below.
Instant access to hundreds of online safety guides
The app’s search function lets you find what you’re looking for instantly. For example, I was interested in finding out more information about Tik Tok because I haven’t actually used it myself. I simply searched within the app and found a brilliant guide all related to the platform, giving me the information I needed!
This is great, because you can use it to save guides for later. Rather than having to search through the app each time, you can have direct easy access to the guides that are most useful to you!
I saved the guide on how not to be a screen zombie because it contains some really good information that will be useful to refer back to. There was also a guide on the game called Among Us which I have saved as well because my daughter has played that game a couple of times.
In-app voting system
The app has a voting system built in, giving all users the chance to shape future products and services provided, based on what you think is the most useful and relevant topic.
There are a whole bunch of parent’s courses hosted by Myleene Klass – these are suitable for parents of children aged anywhere from 4 to 18. I watched the online safety course for children aged 7-11 because our eldest daughter is the most active online and we need to make sure we know how to keep her safe! So, if you’d rather watch videos that read, this is a great option for that!
It’s worth noting here that there are slightly different accounts available. If you are on a basic parent account, you can access the guides, personalisation features, the myleene courses and voting, but those with children in a NOS certified school also gain access to additional explainer videos.
With the current COVID crisis not set to end for some time yet, our children are more active online than ever before. This is a scary thought but with the help of National Online Safety’s new app, all parents can be up to date and have the information needed to keep our children safe whilst being online.
If there’s one thing you do today whilst sitting watching tele or browsing the internet, I really do recommend exploring this app in more detail – especially if you want to ensure that your children are staying safe online!