After the #MOMOChallenge went viral last week, parents across the world asked, what do we do now?
Below are our top 5 actions to consider to help keep your family safer online:
– After seeing a Momo video on YouTube, report it! Then, block the user account and email YouTube to request they take the video and user accounts down. It is extremely unfair for any of us to expect 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16-year-olds to report harmful content on any platform – they are too young to navigate such a decision.
– If you need to have your child watch YouTube videos simply download videos in advance (after you have screened them) and make them available for watching later on. This can be done on both YouTube and Netflix – tip for frequent flyers, download your series before take off and then watch while in airplane mode. When your child has access to a device, simply turn off all network connections hence no pop ups, no ads, no bad content.
– Speak to your child’s educators about the versions of YouTube, Google or Microsoft they are using during school hours. Most schools know to have additional security settings and moderation software in place, but it is your responsibility to ask. Educators often ask students to do research at home and if you are aware of the secure programmes they use at school, you can adopt the same software for hometime screentime.
– Give your family responsible social media training. There are many credible NPOs across the globe offering digital literacy and social media training sessions and I urge you all to be trained as a family unit. Time is not an excuse, you can always make time.
– Lastly, know that online game forums and game streaming forums are often more dangerous than MOMO. Research the tools your kids are using like Twitch – you will be shocked to know that your child playing Fortnite may actually be communicating with an adult or multiple adults that you have never met!