What parents need to know about The Momo Challenge

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Momo!? – What you need to know!

Momo is a sinister ‘challenge’ that has been around for some time.

It has recently resurfaced and once again has come to the attention of schools and children across the country. Dubbed the ‘suicide killer game’,

Momo has been heavily linked with apps such as Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and most recently (and most worryingly)… YouTube Kids.

A statement on the NOS website said: “There have been recent reports that some seemingly innocent videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids (such as ‘surprise eggs’, unboxing videos and Minecraft videos) have been edited by unknown sources to include violence provoking and/or other inappropriate content.”

“Even though YouTube monitor and remove videos that include inappropriate content, clips can be uploaded and viewed thousands of times before they get reported and removed.”

“As a parent, it’s difficult to spot these videos as the harmful content doesn’t appear until partway through the video.”

Top Tips for Parents

National Online Safety have given some top tips for parents regarding Momo.

DOWNLOAD TOP TIPS NOW

1.  Tell Them It’s Not Real

Just like any urban legend or horror story, the concept can be quite frightening and distressing for young people.

Whilst this may seem obvious, it’s important for you to reiterate to your child that Momo is not a real person and cannot directly harm them.

Also, tell your child to not go openly searching for this content online as it may only cause more distress.

2.  Be Present

It’s important for you, as a parent or carer, to be present while your children are online.

This will give you a greater understanding of what they are doing on their devices, as well as providing you with the opportunity to discuss, support and stop certain activities that your child may be involved in.

As the nature of each task become progressively worse it’s also important to recognise any changes in your child’s behaviour.

3.  Talk Regularly

As well as monitoring your child’s activity, it’s important for you discuss it with them too.

Not only will this give you an understanding of their online actions, but those honest and frequent conversations will encourage your child to feel confident to discuss issues and concerns they may have related to the online world.

4.  Device Settings & Parental Controls

Ensure that you set up parental controls for your devices at home.

This will help to restrict the types of content that your child can view, as well as help you to monitor their activity.

In addition to this, it’s vital that you are aware of your device and account settings to ensure your child’s utmost safety.

For example, on YouTube you can turn off ‘suggested auto-play’ on videos to stop your child from viewing content that they have not directly selected.

5.  Peer Pressure

Trends and viral challenges can be tempting for children to take part in; no matter how dangerous or scary they seem.

Make sure you talk to your child about how they shouldn’t succumb to peer pressure and do anything they are not comfortable with, online or offline.

If they are unsure, encourage them to talk to you or another trusted adult.

6.  Real or Hoax?

As a parent it is natural to feel worried about certain things you see online that may be harmful to your child.

However, not everything you see online is true.

Check the validity of the source and be mindful of what you share as it may only cause more worry.

7.  Report & Block

You can’t always rely on parental controls to block distressing or harmful material.

People find ways around a platform’s algorithm in order to share and promote this type of material.

Due to this, we advise that you flag and report any material you deem to be inappropriate or harmful as soon as you come across it.

You should also block the account/content to prevent your child from viewing it.

Also encourage your child to record/screenshot any content they feel could be malicious to provide evidence in order to escalate the issue to the appropriate channels.

Also encourage your child to record/screenshot any content they feel could be malicious to provide evidence in order to escalate the issue to the appropriate channels.

Also encourage your child to record/screenshot any content they feel could be malicious to provide evidence in order to escalate the issue to the appropriate channels.

For more information from the National Online Safety Agency CLICK HERE

Online Safety

It is so important that parents focus on all areas on online safety:

  • Ensure they know what their children can access online
  • Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know
  • Tell their children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do
  • Use parental controls to keep children safe
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