KEEPING CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE SAFE ONLINE

Please see below for information from the Birmingham Safeguarding Children Board:

Introduction

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.