E-safety advice talk for parents

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Parents worried about what their children are getting up to online are being invited to a free e-safety seminar in Harrogate on Thursday May 19.

And the guest speaker at Oatlands Community Group’s free digital parenting and e-safety talk is a Harrogate mum of three, who has developed a pioneering new app aimed at keeping social media safe for children.

Alicia Coad devised ChatFOSS (Friends Only Stay Safe), after her young son complained of “strangers” contacting him and his friends online.

ChatFOSS is believed to be the first social media app which is suitable for children under the age of 13, and uses the latest encryption technology pioneered in the banking industry.

The app, which is now being used in more than 20 schools across the country and by more than 5,000 users, is to be piloted with Oatlands Community Group, which is hosting the free information session at 7.30pm at Oatlands Social Club, on Coronation Grove.

The event is designed to not only equip parents with the resources to keep their children safe online, but to educate them about some of the risks associated with online games and apps their sons and daughters might be accessing.

Vic Dunn-Smith, from Oatlands, said: “Many of us are parents of children who are now keen to use the internet to socialise with their friends.

“However, whilst we don’t want to deprive them of the opportunity to embrace modern technology, we want to make sure they are able to do it in a safe environment.”

Places must be booked in advance at www.oatlandscommunity.co.uk