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E-safety/Online Safety

What is E-safety/Online Safety?

Terms such as 'e-safety', 'online', 'communication technologies' and 'digital technologies', when used on this site, refer to all fixed and mobile technologies that children may encounter, now and in the future, which allow them access to content and communications that could raise e-safety issues or pose risks to their wellbeing and safety.

Children and young people are skilled in using computers, mobile phones and gaming machines such as Wii or PlayStation Portable (PSP). New Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is offering a new world full of opportunity and potential, with children able to express themselves, play and learn in fantastic new ways.

This 'cyber world' offers knowledge, personal growth, extensive friendships and fun. But there are also new, exclusive dangers and challenges, particularly for children and young people. There are many concerns, such as:

  • Bullying;
  • Addiction;
  • Health risks;
  • Gambling and debt;
  • Child sexual abuse;
  • Desensitising children to violence and intimacy.

Everyone who is responsible for children's welfare needs to understand the strengths and the dangers of cyber world.

ERSCB Online Safety Multi-Agency Strategy (pdf 202kb opens in a new window)

ERSCB Online Safety Procedures and Guidance (pdf 227kb opens in a new window)

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Where can I find out further information?

Much work has been done by agencies such as Childnet and the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) to provide resources to address potential dangers on the internet.

Childnet - know it all (external website)

CEOP (external website)

Think u know - CEOP website (external website)

NWG Online: Onguard - A Guide to Becoming a Safer Parent Online (Pdf 701.46kb opens in a new window)

However, the constant developments in digital technology and the emergence of new trends means that those responsible for young people are unable to be complacent with the potential safeguarding issues that could arise.

The way in which the internet is being embedded into young people’s lives as the variety of devices through which they can access material increases means that professionals working with children and young people need to be informed of the possible risks that they face. Additionally, with the growth in popularity of social networking, professionals need to consider their own digital presence.

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Is there local training?

There is an e-safety course delivered by East Riding Safeguarding Children Partnership.

Gambling and gaming: the risk to children and young people

 The Local Authority has a statutory duty to ensure gambling facilities operate responsibly, so that children and other vulnerable people are protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling. 

Gaming for most children and young people is a fun way to spend time with friends. However the gaming platforms present within  many games can be used by adults seeking to groom and harm children and young people. 

Gambling and Gaming

Gaming and Gambling Can be Harmful and Addictive

Many games utilise mechanisms that ‘prime’ the brain for gambling such as loot boxes, mystery chests and spin-to-wins. Free to play games also have paid additional features or encourage players to spend money to level up and access higher levels. All of these features work on the same reward areas in the brain that are also triggered when a player is dependent.

What’s the Difference between Excessive Gaming and Problematic/Dependant Gaming?

It’s normal for many young people and even some adults to want to play games for long periods of time, especially during social distancing restrictions. Problematic and Dependant Gaming occurs when a player’s normal life is affected by their need to play. A player who is avoiding normal routines such as meal and toilet breaks, disrupted or reduced sleep, poor personal care and hygiene, and avoiding safe socialising and other fun activities could have a problem. Spending money within games or gambling compulsively can also be a sign, especially if the player spends money that isn’t theirs or they can’t afford to spend. Feeling as though they have no choice but to play or pay to play is a good indicator that a person may need help.


What Can Parents and Family Members Do?

•     Turn off in-app and in-game purchases and make sure bank cards aren’t linked to game accounts.

•     Talk about the links between gaming and gambling with the player and help them to understand the risks.

•     Explain that loot boxes, skins and spin-to-wins are mechanisms that are used to encourage excessive game play and although they seem free, they’re designed to encourage the spending of money later in the game.

•     Limit gaming time and make it a regular part of normal routine e.g. two hours of gaming after dinner providing the rest of the day has been screen free. Help the player to self-regulate and manage their own healthy limits.

•     Encourage device free mealtimes and activities and reward these with non-gaming treats and other fun activities.

•     Consider your own online behaviour and use of devices for gaming and gambling. Are you setting a good example and being a role-model of healthy gaming use?

•     Talk to your GP, Debt Advice Service, Mental Health and Substance Use service to find out more.

Where Can You Get Help?

·       YGam – Help for young gamblers and gamers

·         0203 837 4963

·         Email - hello@ygam.org

·         National Gambling Helpline - 0800 8020 133

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