Online Safety

/Online Safety
Online Safety 2017-12-11T15:13:18+00:00

Online Safety

The internet has become part of everyday life for people of all ages. However, it can be a useful tool for people wishing to exploit children and it is important to protect children using the internet.

Recent high profile cases in the news have revealed that internet chat rooms can be used by paedophiles to establish deceptive relationships with children. They then ‘groom’ children to become victims, either psychologically on the internet itself, or by arranging to actually meet them. Often victims believe that they are chatting to other children on-line.

Internet pornography can cause psychological damage to children who are exposed to it. Worse still, the internet is a major method by which pornographic images of children are obtained and exchanged by exploitative adults. Sadly such images are high in demand, so pornographers will go to extreme lengths to entice and coerce children into getting involved against their will.

Making it safe to surf

There are always ways in which you can help to protect your child on-line and ensure that the internet is a safe way to learn and have fun. Ask your internet service provider (ISP) or local computer specialist about installing parental controls which can prevent your child accessing websites with sexual content. These methods cannot provide a total safeguard but do offer some protection.

It is important to learn all you can about the internet. In the same way that you would teach your child about the dangers from strangers, warn your child about the dangers on the internet and lay down some ground rules regarding the time they spend on-line. If possible, avoid your child going on-line in private, or at least ensure you have access to their computer. Make sure that they know they should never arrange to meet a new friend made on the internet without a trusted adult present. Watch out for possible signs of exploitation or abuse. Some of these signs are often completely innocent, but look out for changes in your child’s mood or behaviour, sleep disturbances or bedwetting, unexplained marks, problems at school, going missing or self harm, asking about sexual experiences and terminology or evidence of pornographic material. Be especially aware of any new friendships between your child and older people, whether male or female. If your child does experience some form of exploitation, whether mild or severe, it is crucial to be 100% supportive, make it clear that it is not their fault and that you are there to help and protect them no matter what.

Concerned about a child?

  • 01454 866000 ‐ Monday to Friday
  • 01454 615165 ‐ Out of hours/Weekends
  • In an emergency please ring 999

Here are some links to guide you…

Pokemon Go

Here is some useful information from NSPCC and UK safer Internet Centre regarding Pokemon Go and some advice for parents.

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/pokemon-go-parents-guide/

http://www.saferinternet.org.uk/news/pokemon-go-gaming-gone-mobile

Other Links

Parents’ Guide to Technology, Safer Internet Centre – to help parents get to grips with new technology

Vodafone ‘How To’ Guides – for advice on how to set up parental controls on various types of devices

Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – provides valuable information on child protection issues including E-Safety

thinkuknow – is an excellent site developed by CEOP with a wide range of Internet safety tips and downloads for children of all ages and their parents / carers and teachers

Kidsmart – for guides to parental controls to devices and more resources

Childnet – reporting advice for adults and young people

lovetoknow safety – general Internet Safety for Adults

Avon and Somerset Police – online safety guide for parents