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  • Writer's pictureChloë H Ward

Internet Safety Day 2020

As a business that runs a number of social media platforms, Comms Kick knows it can be an incredible useful and positive tool. Both professionally and personally. However, we are all becoming increasingly aware of its pitfalls too - both for our own mental health and for our kids' safety. Navigating social media so you get the most out of it and keep yourself and your kids safe is tricky. Back in 2018 we began sharing tips and tricks that we came across to help you and your family navigate the internet and social media more confidently. As the business has grown this content has been reduced - it requires a lot of research and client content took priority but for Internet Safety Day 2020 here are the top five tips that got the biggest reaction online (and therefore, are presumably the most useful):

POSTING YOUR CHILD ON SOCIAL MEDIA: “Sharenting” and Digital Footprints are often in the news - as the Think You Know website explains “every publically accessible image or comment featuring your child contributes to a public image that will follow them into the future.” Parents should also consider how an image could be used by nasty people online. It feels scary but sometimes we want to share moments of our life with our friends and family & as parents it is inevitable these will feature our children. I try to follow the same rules @mother_pukka shared in a blog post a couple of years ago after seeking advice from @nspcc_official

• Don’t name children online, use a pet name or emoji instead

• Use a black and white filter where possible, predators seek clear colour images.

• Ensure images uploaded of children have no space behind them to superimpose anything or anyone • Restricting images of children to 1 in 5

• Ensure no bathtime, swimming or naked images are shared.

Finally ask yourself if you’d be happy to have that picture online now for your colleagues, friends and partner to see, after all your child will, and if you’re not sure don’t post. The full blog post from Mother Pukka is here.

PHONE ADDICTION: Phones are made to be addictive because the longer we spend on our phone the more ads we will see and the more ads we see the greater the revenue for tech companies! Continuous scrolling, unconscious checking...we all do it.

In a recent interview with Channel 4, Matt Brittin, President of Google's business and operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa explained he and most of his colleagues turn their phones to greyscale at a certain time each day to try to make it less appealing to scroll and they say it works. So surely we should all be doing this?

Many ex senior employees of Google and Facebook have explained that even the colour choices of our apps’ notifications are designed to get a faster response from you. Facebook's founding president, Sean Parker, said publicly that the company set out to consume as much user time as possible. He claimed it was "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology". So turning to grey scale will help that feeling that you just have to check your phone.

Here’s how to do it: In iOS 10, go to •Settings > General > Accessibility >Display Accommodations >Colour Filters. •Switch Colour Filters on and select Grayscale. But that’s a faff every night right? The next shortcut means you can turn to greyscale by hitting the home button: To easily toggle between color and grayscale •Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut > Colour Filters. Now, you just press the home button three times to enable grayscale. Triple-click again to go back to colour. In Android search your accessibility settings. There’s also apps out there which will turn greyscale on at a certain time.

CURATE YOUR FEED. This sounds dead posh but all it means is: Remember you’re in control of who you follow & therefore what you see. Our brains are programmed to take in information even when we think we’re not so it’s really important to ensure you only follow accounts that:

•Make you feel good

•Don’t cause you to compare your life/self to others

•Are a reputable source of information .

Not many people post with the intention of making you feel bad, but if some accounts just ain’t your jam at the moment unfollow them for a bit. If you know you’re a sucker for taking in your news via social media just follow reputable news accounts & when the advertisers start spamming your news feed with related content click “hide ad”. Sounds simple but in this busy life we are all guilty of forgetting to make social platforms work for us- take five minutes to do it today.

AWKWARD CHAT. This tip is possibly my favourite so far because it’s an amazing discovery for people to pass on to the teens in their lives (though we all know an adult, probably online dating, who could certainly use this too). ZIPIT is an app developed by @childline_official which helps you get flirty chat back on track. Everyone’s been in that situation where we feel a bit awkward saying no or putting someone in their place but online it can feel even harder to find the words. The Zipit gif gallery (which you can sort depending on whether you want to respond to a request for a sexy pic, slow down the conversation, change the subject or just tell someone “that’s not cool”) gives you loads of ways to respond to something you’re not comfortable with in a light-hearted way. The app is free to download. Why not WhatsApp a link to someone you think could find it useful? If that’s awkward you could try sending them a gif and then explain about the app when they ask why you’ve sent it.

TIME ON INSTAGRAM: Did you know you can set up Instagram so it alerts you when you’ve spent too much time on the app? You decide the maximum amount of time you want to spend on the app each day. Here’s how: • Go to your profile and click on the right hand menu •Click your activity •Click “Set Daily Reminder” at the bottom and you’re sorted! As a social media manager I know it is so easy to get lost in those little squares so this ensures you don’t get too lost (a little wandering never hurt anyone!)



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