“We believe every child and young person should be protected, educated and empowered to stay safe when using the internet and digital technologies.”
Our approach will need to have several strands and will need to focus on work with children and young people, their parents and carers, and the professionals who work with children and young people. A greater challenge will be to raise awareness amongst the general public and the services that they use in both the public and private sector, for example internet cafes, libraries and locations offering wireless connection. It is important that children and young people receive consistent messages about the safe use of ICT and are able to recognise and manage the risks posed in both the real and the virtual world.
Use of technology also poses risks to adults, including those who are using it in their role to support or work with children and young people.
Whether it is using Chat Rooms, Social Networking sites like ‘Facebook’, online games or your mobile, you should take precautions to keep yourself (and your relatives and friends) safe.
There are lots of great websites out there that will provide up to date information for you about; what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. For example: If they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online, they can report this to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
Cyberbullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behaviour which happens on social networks, games and mobile phones. Children may not know who’s bullying them online, or it may be an extension of offline peer bullying.
Cyberbullying can happen at any time or anywhere, a child can be bullied when they are alone in their bedroom so it feels like there’s no escape.
For more advice on preventing and responding to cyberbullying visit www.nspcc.org.uk
‘Sexting’ is the exchange of self-generated sexually explicit images, ranging from partial nudity to sexual images or video created via webcam or smartphone and sent via mobile picture messages or webcams and shared with others including on Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr, Snapchat and video sites such as Youtube and Vimeo.
Find out more about the dangers of Sexting and what advice can be given to young people if they have shared something
Useful resources for young people and those working with young people
The Government has launched two new documents, which the UK Safer Internet Centre has been involved in developing:
- A practical guide for parents and carers whose children are using social media. The guide includes practical tips about the use of safety and privacy features on apps and platforms, as well as conversation prompts to help families begin talking about online safety. It also contains pointers to further advice and support.
- A practical guide for providers of social media and interactive services. The guide has examples of good practice from leading technology companies, and advice from NGOs and other online child safety experts. Its purpose is to encourage businesses to think about “safety by design” to help make their platforms safer for children and young people under 18.
NSPCC Share Aware
We know some parents feel confused by the internet – out of their depth, and out of control. Share Aware – the NSPCC’s campaign for parents of children aged 8-12 – will help to reassure you, and give you everything you need to keep your children safe.
Switched On Families – Virgin Media
Switched On Families is about giving parents clear, honest, useful (and sometimes even fun) support to make sure your family gets the best from the web. You know your kids best, but at Virgin Media, they know a thing or two about the web and want to help you make informed and confident choices.
The NSPCC and O2 have worked together to find out what over 500 parents thought about the social networks that children use and also what 1720 young people thought.
The purpose of Net Aware is to provide parents with the information they need to understand their child’s online world and help them keep their children safe online. Parents are encouraged to explore what other parents and children are saying about the sites, and form their own views about the appropriateness of popular sites.
Lee and Kim’s Adventure… Animal Magic
Watch “Lee and Kim’s Adventure… Animal Magic” video by CEOP, about Lee and Kim who are brother and sister. They like playing on the internet together and their favourite game is Animal Magic and find themselves in a tricky situation – your child might enjoy similar sites such as Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters. Read Lee and Kim’s Adventure Storybook
More useful resources
There are many more useful resources available around the internet advising how to keep children safe online. The following links are a small selection
- Internetmatters.org Internet Matters is an independent, not-for-profit organisation to help parents keep their children safe online. Internet Matters believe in maximising children’s potential online, while staying safe.
- East of England Broadband Network (E2BN) – Essential Online Safety
- UK Safer Internet Centre The UK Safer Internet Centre develops new educational and awareness raising resources for children, parents, carers and teachers to meet emerging trends in the fast-changing online environment. Recent launches include resources focusing on early years, sexting, and ‘how to’ video guides on using parental controls on internet-connected devices.
- Guide to Mobile Web Safety – by Carphone Warehouse Carphone Warehouse guide helping to keep kids safe on their mobile phones with Professor Tanya Byron.
- O2 & NSPCC have joined forces to provide expert advice for parents or carers to help keep children safe online. Whether it is setting up parental controls, adjusting privacy settings, understanding social networks or concerns about online gaming. Speak with one of their advisors on 08088 005002
- South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) E-safety Resources
- Childnet.com and Know it All – The childnet International website gives internet safety advice and links for young people, parents, teachers and other organisations. Their award winning suite of ‘Know It All# resources have been designed to help educate about the safe and positive use of the internet
- Think you know
- Digiduck’s Big Decision A story of friendship and responsibility online.
When should I report to the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) ?
CEOP help children stay safe online. Has someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. You can report it to us below.
Remember if you need immediate help call 999
Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)
The Internet Watch Foundation is the UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content especially;
- Child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world
- Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK
- Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK
Reports are confidential and can be made anonymously by clicking here