Access Keys:

St Mary's Primary School Banbridge

Be Aware....

27th Feb 2019


27 February 2019

Dear Parent/Guardian

You may be aware from recent media attention of the latest online threat to children. Momo is creepy doll figure with bulging eyes and a creepy grin which can appear online. Police believe it is being used by hackers to harvest information.

Momo targets children on social media. The doll encourages children to add a contact on messaging service WhatsApp, then harasses and pressurises them with violent images and dares. It encourages them to self-harm and the ultimate post tells them to take their own lives.

Police have appealed to parents to not simply focus on Momo, urging them to:

  • 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.

It is important for parents to talk regularly with children about these apps and games and the potential risks they can be exposed to.

The NSPCC publishes advice and guidance for parents on discussing online safety with their children, as well as Net Aware - the UK's only parental guide to social media and gaming apps.

Among the most common signs to watch out for include children who:

  • Become very secretive, especially about what they are doing online
  • Are spending a lot of time on the internet and social media
  • Are switching screens on their device when approached
  • Are withdrawn or angry after using the internet or sending text messages
  • Have lots of new phone numbers or email addresses on their devices.

If concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject with their children, contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website.

Children who are worried about their activity on apps or online games can contact Childline 24 hours a day, online and over the phone on 0800 1111.

Please act Now! Keep your children safe!

Yours sincerely,

D O’Hagan