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Parents urged to be vigilant when children online as NSPCC offers advice over communication apps

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NSPCC Northern Ireland is offering advice to parents to help keep children safe online as they may be using different apps to communicate. (Peter Byrne/PA)

NSPCC Northern Ireland is offering advice to parents to help keep children safe online as they may be using different apps to communicate. (Peter Byrne/PA)

NSPCC Northern Ireland is offering advice to parents to help keep children safe online as they may be using different apps to communicate. (Peter Byrne/PA)

NSPCC Northern Ireland is offering advice to parents to help keep children safe online as they may be using different apps to communicate.

Parents are being urged to be more vigilant than ever when their children are online and together with 02, the charity has created a resource called Net Aware.

Net Aware is a database of easily digested information on more than 50 apps providing official age ratings and risk ratings, covering everything from sexual grooming to bullying.

Here is what Net Aware says about two popular apps:

Houseparty - the free video chat app allows people to talk to others one-to-one or in groups of up to eight, with both friends and users you might not know. Its official age rating is 13-plus.

Experts say the app poses a high risk of exposure to sexual content and bullying and a medium risk of violence/hatred, suicide/self-harm and drink/drugs/crime.

The website's main tip shows you how to turn on 'private mode'.

TikTok - Its official age rating is 13-plus. Net Aware says it poses a high risk of drink/drugs/crime and a medium risk of sexual content, violence/hatred, bullying, and suicide/self-harm.

The top tip is to switch accounts to private.

Young people can share their worries with Childline counsellors by calling 0800 1111 or visiting www.childline.org.uk.

Belfast Telegraph