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[READ] Creepy death chain letter goes viral on kids' phones, causing terror

16 January 2020 11:21 AM
Tags:
Chain letter
internet security
Dean McCoubrey of MySocialLife gives tips for parents on how to deal with a circulating chain letter causing fear among children.

Chain letters have come a long way since they used to arrive in the mail. Now they can target children directly via devices and a recent one is causing consternation among children and parents.

A chain letter is being circulated among children on social media platforms, chat groups and Apps via their devices and it is causing fear and anxiety for many of these youngsters.

This particular letter has been shared with children as young as 7-years-old and on chat platforms created for school purposes.

Read the chain letter below:

Dean McCoubrey of MySocialLife talks to Kieno Kammies about the disturbing chain letter that is currently being shared among very young school kids and what parents can do about it.

McCoubrey offers guidelines for parents to use in dealing with such messages.

Reading this reminded me of urban legends during my school years. The difference is the virality of messaging and sharing and email and social and so on.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

I remember being pretty scared back then. The problem is the kids are getting these now into their Inbox, and being shared.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

He says over the past month many children received electronic devices as festive season gifts, whether those be tablets, gaming consoles or smartphones. And those who may not have these, are accessing the internet on technology at school.

There are connection points inside, and there are ways in which children can lock down their privacy.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

This prevents individuals from being able to access the children's platforms and send them messages, videos or photos, he says.

This is the problem. These doorways we or schools give our children are not yet locked down...so we are finding ourselves in a real quandary.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

The end result is that children can find themselves feeling extremely anxious.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

In courses MySocialLife runs at schools, McCoubrey says the feedback is worrying.

It is not an exaggeration that 3 to 4 out of 10 children say they do not tell their parents about what they have experienced online because they do not want their device taken away.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

he suggests some ways parents and schools can begin to address the issue:

  • If there is access to technology, a policy needs to be implemented
  • Schools should post stickers on campus to remind pupils of the policy
  • Schools need to conduct parent training workshops
  • Schools should conduct campaigns or competitions whereby children make posters to raise awareness

The most important thing is that parents and schools need to get a lot closer to the issue. Parents, teachers, and students need to share the responsibility of how devices are set up.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

1. Check privacy settings on devices. Go to settings - privacy and follow the steps.

But privacy settings on devices are not enough is not sufficient, he explains.

2. You need to go into every single App and look at the security and privacy settings of that App. eg. If your child is on Tik-Tok, click the 3 dots in the corner which will take you into a Security and Privacy section. You can see if the account is public or private.

If they are public, then the doors and windows of their digital house are wide open and people can come in and contact them and talk to them in their digital house.

Dean McCoubrey - MySocialLife

Listen to the interview below and find out how to deal with these kinds of messages that may reach your children via their devices:


16 January 2020 11:21 AM
Tags:
Chain letter
internet security

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