Topics for this month:
The government have produced a leaflet on what to do to help stop the spread of coronavirus, including information on symptoms and government support. We have attached it to the bulletin for your information. Click here for the coronavirus leaflet
Mental health and wellbeing information
The government have produced guidance on how to look after your mental health and wellbeing during this difficult time. We have put together our own information leaflet for you which we have attached. The information can also be found by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19
Coronavirus cyber attacks
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, along with their US counterparts have warned about the increased exploitation of vulnerable people and systems by criminals using the coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic as the subject context.
Cyber criminals are using the pandemic for commercial gain, deploying a variety of ransomware and other malware.
Threats observed include:
- Phishing, using the subject of coronavirus or COVID-19 as a lure
- Malware distribution using coronavirus or COVID-19 themed lures
- Registration of new website domain names containing coronavirus or COVID-19 related wording
- Attacks against newly (and often rapidly) deployed remote access or remote working infrastructure, e.g. GoToMyPC, Zoom or TeamViewer etc.
Some specific examples of the types of coronavirus scam that are being used can be found here: https://ineqe.com/2020/03/27/how-to-recognise-these-popular-covid-19-scams/
The organisations have produced guidance (see attached) on how to mitigate these risks, summarised by the following statement:
‘Malicious cyber actors are continually adjusting their tactics to take advantage of new situations, and the COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Malicious cyber actors are using the high appetite for COVID-19 related information as an opportunity to deliver malware and ransomware and to steal user credentials. Individuals and organisations should remain vigilant. For genuine information about the virus, please use trusted resources such as the UK government website, Public Health England or NHS websites.’
Support for domestic abuse victims
The Home Secretary has launched a new public awareness raising campaign highlighting that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, will aim to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time.
It will encourage members of the general public to show their solidarity and support for those who may be suffering, by sharing government digital content or a photo of a heart on their palm, and asking others to do the same, to show victims that they are not alone and to convey to perpetrators that domestic abuse is unacceptable in any circumstances.
The campaign will be publicising support available including the freephone, 24 hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline number – 0808 2000 247 – run by Refuge, and www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk
From next week, adverts raising awareness of where people can seek help will run across social media and materials will be made available to a wide range of partners including charities and supermarkets. Additionally, the Home Secretary announced that the Home Office is working with charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to provide an additional £2 million to immediately bolster domestic abuse helplines and online support.
Charities have reported a surge in activity since the social distancing guidelines came into force, so the funding will help to ensure that all victims can access vital support safely and securely. Tools such as online support services, including a messaging service with domestic abuse experts, will help those most at risk of abuse seek support and help and guidance during periods when it might be difficult for them to talk on the phone.
Additional helplines/support available:
Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men: Freephone 0808 8010 327
Domestic Abuse Services and Refuge in the North West for Women and Children (www.safenet.org.uk) 0300 3033 581
Helping men escape domestic abuse: (Mankind). For confidential help, call 01823 334244
Online radicalisation information sheet – Attached
We recognise that this is a difficult time for parents and guardians and that the Coronavirus is having a significant impact on young people and families across the world. This will almost certainly lead to children and young people spending more time online. Our experience of radicalisers is that they may link their extreme views to the global, national or individual response to Coronavirus which could be shown through films, images and discussions as:
- Conspiracy theories
- Blaming other people for the virus and its impact on life
- Hate against groups because of race, religion, sexuality and gender
Click here for the radicalisation information sheet
Radicalisers can target young people by sending friend requests on popular sites and platforms to see who responds. They may strike up a conversation to build a relationship and ask them to chat privately, the child or young person may then be persuaded and encouraged to join new or secret groups. Often young people will be asked to continue discussions, not via the mainstream social media, but via other platforms and forums to give the radicaliser a greater degree of anonymity and can be less easy to monitor.
Check in with them and ask them about what they are viewing, who they are speaking to and how they are feeling. This might feel difficult, but here are some tips to help you:
- Listen carefully to their fears and worries
- Avoid complicated and worrying explanations that could be frightening and confusing
- Give them advice and support to help them understand Coronavirus
- Help them cope with bereavement and grief
You can get more information from the following websites to help understand why people sometimes need more support if they have been radicalised, what is available and how to access it. These websites can help you share your concerns online:
- NSPCC https://www.nspcc.org.uk/
- ChildLine https://www.childline.org.uk/
- Let’s talk about it https://www.letstalkaboutit.nhs.uk/
- Internet matters https://www.internetmatters.org/
- Think you know https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/
- Counter terrorism policing https://www.counterterrorism.police.uk/
This is a new app that has grown in popularity over the last 3-4 weeks, due to the need for people to find alternative ways to stay in touch with each other due to social distancing restrictions. It has become especially popular with children, who are using it to keep in touch with their school friends and relatives.
The app allows 2-8 people into a video chat room at any one time, where they can also send messages (group and private) to each other, video voicemails (known as facemails) and play games and quizzes etc. Users also receive notifications when their friends are in the Houseparty chat room, if they are not logged in themselves.
Some potential safeguarding risks for children/vulnerable adults:
- Screenshots can be taken by users
- Links to join chatrooms can be shared publicly, meaning uninvited guests may be able to join
- When a friend is invited to join another chatroom, mutual friends of that person can also join without an invitation
Ways to stay safe when using the app:
- Users can ‘lock their rooms’ using the private mode, meaning uninvited guests are unable to join
- As with other apps, users can be blocked and/or reported
Please see the attached safety card on how to minimise safeguarding risks when using the Houseparty app.
The Covid Telegraph
The Covid Telegraphis a new website that has been set up in response to the huge amount of information – good and bad – that is now in the public domain regarding the coronavirus pandemic. This site has accumulated facts, articles, and advice in relation to the Covid 19 virus, with the criteria for publication being that the information has come from a recognised expert in their field and a verifiable source.
The success of this website comes from the fact that people viewing its content can be confident that they are reading genuine information and research about the current situation.
The Covid Telegraph website can be found here: https://thecovidtelegraph.com/
Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership – Free online e-Learning modules
Liverpool Safeguarding Children Partnership supports continuous learning and improvement by providing a wide range of opportunities for multi agencies and providers to come together to reflect upon the quality of their ‘safeguarding services’ and to ‘learn together’ from training experiences to improve services as a result.
There are a number of free online CPD resources available with LSCP on a wide variety of topics. Listed below are some safeguarding courses and resources that you may find useful and to help you understand how to work together effectively to safeguard the children and young people in our care.
- Cyber Security, an introduction to stay safe online – Open University – Staying Safe Online
- Action Counters Terrorism-ACT
- Counter terrorism Awareness – Counter Terrorism Policing-ACT
- Suicide Awareness – Zero Suicide Alliance – Let’s Talk
- Online Safety – CEOP – Online Safety
- Parental mental Health and Families – SCIE
- Domestic Abuse/Toxic Trio – AVA Project
- Human Trafficking Awareness – Salvation Army
- Child Sexual Exploitation – PACE
Please visit the LSCP website to access the free online Safeguarding training using this link provided https://liverpoolscb.org.uk/scp/training/e-learning-modules