Kids and smartphones: Warning to Halifax parents after school Year 5 and 6 kids' WhatsApp group hacked and offensive material posted

Parents whose children have smartphones are being urged to be vigilant after a Calderdale primary school children’s WhatsApp group was hacked.
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Calderdale Council’s safeguarding officer has written to the borough’s schools and some junior sports clubs to make them aware of the incident which saw child pornography posted on the group for Year 5 and 6 children.

The letter says: “This weekend, a Year 5 and 6 group set up by pupils at a local primary school has been hacked through one child’s account, and its name changed to ‘Add your contacts’.

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"Sadly, around 250 children over this weekend have indeed added their contacts, with the hacked account now displaying abusive material including child pornography.

The Calderdale kids' WhatsApp group was hackedThe Calderdale kids' WhatsApp group was hacked
The Calderdale kids' WhatsApp group was hacked

"The group account has been reported to both WhatsApp and the police.”

The letter urged parents to prevent social media access to children until they are at least 13.

"If, as parents, the risks of your child joining social media have been considered and you are still happy to take those risks, then at the very least parents/carers need to be extremely pro-active around monitoring your child’s mobile device, use of social media, ensuring the deletion of any harmful content found, and deleting any links to accounts, groups or persons you do not know or have any concerns about,” the letter continues.

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"As a brief reminder, the recommended minimum age to hold a WhatsApp account in the UK is over 16. All other popular social media accounts are over 13.”

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