Recently in the news, there have been a variety of reports related to the “MOMO Challenge” and other harmful content on popular online platforms including YouTube, YouTube Kids, WhatsApp, and Fortnite. Because this content encourages self-harm and is being targeted to children and teens by infiltrating popular games and cartoons, we want you to be aware of it, so that we can all work together to ensure the safety and well-being of every child.
We encourage parents and guardians to take this as an opportunity to have intentional conversations with their children about what they encounter online. These discussions could include:
- Reminding children to never contact strangers online, on any platform;
- Encourage children to share any worries or concerns with you;
- Ensure children understand the importance of not giving personal information to anyone they do not know;
- Tell children no-one has the right to make them do anything they do not want to do;
- Set privacy systems on devices with your child as a way to have the conversation about safety.
It is also important for parents to know what children can access online and encourage you to consider the follow safeguards for your child’s online devices:
- Set privacy settings for all social media and gaming applications;
- Keep video games and YouTube watching in shared family spaces;
- Set up video game restrictions to friends only;
- Set up "restricted" mode on YouTube for your child's account so inappropriate content is not available to them.
- Look for digital citizenship safety tips. Here are some sites we have found useful: