KEEPING CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE ONLINE
Please see below for information from the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board:
The internet has revolutionised and has incredibly changed how we communicate and socialise with people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With access at our fingertips, it can be even more challenging to keep children and young people safe online, especially when they have their own computers, laptops, smartphones/mobile phones, tablets and games consoles.
As a parent, carer or a professional, it is important to educate yourself, children and young people that as well as the endless opportunities available through the internet and technology, there are also associated risks to be aware of:
Potential online risks can include:
- access and exposure to inappropriate /disturbing images and content
- access and exposure to racist or hate material
- sexual grooming, luring, abuse and exploitation by/with strangers
- sharing personal information with strangers that could identify and locate a child offline
- online bullying (cyber bullying) by peer and people they consider their ‘friends’
- being encouraged take part in violent behaviour such as ‘happy slapping’
- sending or receiving sexually explicit films, images or messages of themselves or others (this is known as sexting when sent by mobile phone)
- glorifying activities such as drug taking or excessive drinking
- physical harm to young people in making video content, such as enacting and imitating stunts and risk taking activities
- leaving and running away from home as a result of contacts made online.
Keeping your child safe
There are several ways to help keep children and young people safe online:
- educate yourself and children and young people know about the dangers online
- tell them what they should do if anything goes wrong online or upsets them i.e. tell someone about it
- explain that anything shared online or by mobile phone could end up being seen by anyone
- ensure computers and laptops are used where you can see and not out of sight in a bedroom
- use parental settings, filtering software and privacy setting to block inappropriate sites and content
Useful sites for further information and advice:
NSPCC – National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children: Advice and support for adults concerned about a child.
CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: Organisation that works to stop child abuse on the internet.
Know-IT-All: Information on benefits, risks and safety on the internet.
Which?: Information and advice on child internet safety.
Kidsmart: A safety programme website for schools, young people, parents, and agencies, produced by the children’s internet charity Childnet International.
http://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Keeping-Under-Fives-Safe-Online.pdf: Information and advice on child internet safety specifically aimed at under 5’s.
internetmatters.org: Webpage designed to help parents keep their children safe online.