Online safety –06/06/23 – Telegram

Telegram is frequently promoted as an alternative to Whatsapp that offers a more secure platform for messaging. This is due to features such as ‘secret chats’ and ‘self-deleting messages’. Whilst these features are useful from a security perspective, they can pose a number of risks in terms of the sharing of harmful content. Secret chats allow messages to self-delete after a specific period of time. This could cause issues with cyber bullying where children are unable to retrieve abusive or inappropriate messages. This secretive style of messaging has also made way for criminals to spread illegal material which has led to the app being removed from the app store in the past. Telegram has a 16+ age restriction so should not be used by children, however once the app is downloaded, age verification doesn’t need to be provided meaning children could easily access the app.