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Be Safe Online

Keeping Children Safe in a Digital World

Many children and young people use the internet for education, social and leisure purposes. Children are naturally trusting, curious and keen to explore the web but it’s important that they know how to keep safe.

The internet is always changing and being able to keep up-to-date with technology can be challenging. However, children and young people often need support with problems they experience online.

What are the risks?

  • Cyberbullying – When someone uses technology, such as the internet or a mobile device, to bully others
  • Pornography – Access to inappropriate and/or illegal content
  • Sexting – The use of technology to send intimate text messages including images of partial nudity, sexual images or video. Remember, if someone under the age of 18 creates an explicit photo or video of themselves, they could be held responsible for creating an image of child abuse. By sending this content to another person, they could be held responsible for the distribution of an image of child abuse. By receiving this content from another young person, they could be held responsible for possessing an image of child abuse
  • Social networking – Content uploaded online can be copied, altered and re-posted by anyone and it is very difficult to take back what may be later regretted. Children who create or post inappropriate, offensive or even illegal content could get into trouble with their school, friends and even the Police
  • Downloading/file-sharing – Prosecution linked to downloading, sharing or selling content without the permission of those who own the copyright
  • Gaming – Unwanted contact from others online who may wish to bully or abuse them
  • Online grooming – An adult or peer with an inappropriate sexual interest in children approaching a child online with the intention of developing a relationship with that child. This can lead to exploitation and sexual abuse
  • Premium Rate Content – Financial impact of signing-up to services

What can I do right now? (Taken from: www.childnet.com)

  • Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example who they’re talking to, services they’re using, and any issues they may be experiencing
  • Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet
  • Give your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities
  • Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to educate them about the internet
  • Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may remain online forever
  • Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others.
  • Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services
  • If your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken
  • Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these may be helpful
  • Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online
  • Encourage your children to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account
  • Set up a PIN or password on devices to help protect personal information

Help and Advice

Hampshire County Council Guidance

www.hants.gov.uk/esafety

Internet Matters

What issues could be affecting your children? Get to grips with what they may come across on the internet and how to get help if you need it. Find out what to do if you’re worried about anything you or your child has seen online.

www.internetmatters.org

ThinkUknow

The latest information on the sites children and young people like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.

www.thinkuknow.co.uk

KidSMART – Guidance about staying safe online.

www.kidsmart.org.uk

Childnet

A non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children.

www.childnet.com

CEOP

Has someone acted inappropriately towards your child online? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that made them feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. You can report it to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP).

www.ceop.police.uk

Revenge Porn Helpline

Call us for free, confidential advice and support. Whilst we cannot guarantee removal of all images online, our exceptional partnerships with internet industry partners allows us to minimise the reach, and some of the harm caused by revenge porn.

www.revengepornhelpline.org.uk