NSPCC Campaigns Manager Emma Motherwell takes a look at the apps and sites children are using and how you can help keep them safe.
This week we are looking at an app that those with younger children may recognise, Popjam.
Popjam is aimed at seven to 12-year-olds and allows users to create and share art with peers in this online community. Children can comment on each other’s’ work and follow their favourite artists.
Users have to create an account and are asked not to use real names while photos can only be added after your child has reached a certain number of followers and understands the rules of the site.
The app is Kid’s Safe certified, has no direct chat function and swear words and suggestive emojis are blocked out in comments. Despite this some children did tell the NSPCC and O2’s Net-Aware survey that they don’t like not being able to make their account completely private and that people can say mean things to them.
However, they like the creativity of the app and playing games with friends, so what can be done to keep them safe?
Firstly, Popjam is parent friendly and encourages users to ask their parents to read a policy before they sign up. And while anyone can comment on your work and vice-versa, comments only become public once they’re moderated and you can block users you don’t want to engage with.
Show your child knows how to report posts they don’t want to see by pressing the arrow icon in top right of the post then pressing the (!) report post. This flags the post for moderators to look at. The same can be done to report comments and block users if you following the same process on someone’s profile.
To make sure your child is using Popjam safely it’s important to explore it with them. Go through the community guidelines with them, make sure they know how to report posts, block users and go through the house rules. A full parents guide is available at www.popjam.com/parents
Ultimately to keep your child safe online let them know they can talk to you about anything inappropriate that upsets them and reassure them that they won’t get into trouble by telling you.
More information about how to start those conversations can be found on the NSPCC’s Share Aware site while our Net-Aware site gives loads of information about using apps safely, including Popjam.
Call our Online Safety Helpline for advice an all things online safety, including setting up parental controls, on 0808 800 5002. You can also book an appointment with an NSPCC-trained O2 Guru in store for support, whether you’re an O2 customer or not.
Net Aware is available as an app or at www.net-aware.org.uk