The Film and Publication Board (FPB) has urged parents to be vigilant. And track their children’s online activities.
This follows the discovery of the ‘Momo Challenge’. It is a form of cyberbullying targeting young children.
‘It encourages self-harm and may even lead to suicide.
‘The challenge appears as a scary image on online platforms. And requests for the user to contact ‘Momo’. on Whats App through one of several contact numbers,’ said FPB in a statement.
‘Reports claim that the character instructs children to complete challenges. Also, they must keep secret or ‘Momo’ will kill them.’
FPB online monitors conducted a search on legitimate and known App stores and were unable to find reference to the game.
‘But, parents and guardians need to check their children’s devices. And report such content to the FPB hotline number 0800 148 148 or www.fpbhotline.org.za,’ Dr. Motebang said.
To Parents here are the following tips in keeping themselves or those in their care safe online:
Download monitoring Apps on your device. These Apps watch your child’s online activities and can be set to:
-Alert you when your child logs on to an App. -Allow you to set limits of how much time they can spend online using their devices. -Alerts you when the child tries to download an App. -Allows you to grant permission for your child to download an App. -Supervise your children when they are online. Get to know the games they play or videos they access on platforms such as YouTube. -Be aware that the internet does not only offer fun activities. But, there are also criminal activities. -Teach children not to share personal information. And ensure their privacy settings are always on. -Assist them to identify activities or people that make them feel uncomfortable. And report such activities immediately to their parents. -Teach children to block any person who bullies them and to report this to an adult. -Ensure that the devices they have access to are for age with suitable content. -Many social networks need users to be 13 years or older. Check your children privacy setting and who they interact within Social Media.