Suffolk police are asking parents and carers to talk to their children about staying safe online and come #TogetherforaBetterInternet
Safer Internet Day, on Tuesday, February 11, is co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, aims to highlight positive uses of technology and the role everyone plays in helping to create a better and safer online community for children and young people. It is also an opportunity for adults to check that their own online activity is safe and secure.
Suffolk Police will be supporting this year’s campaign by asking parents and carers to look at whether the social media accounts, websites and apps that they and their children have access to are both appropriate and safe.
Detective Superintendent David Giles said: “The theme of this year’s Safer Internet day is ‘Together For A Better Internet’ and by working together families can ensure they are all playing a role together to stay safe online.
“We are asking parents and carers across Suffolk to sit down with their children and talk frankly about their online activity.”
Get to know and become familiar with the social networks your children use, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, YouTube, Tumblr. InternetMatters and ThinkYouKnow websites are good sources of information for keeping up with the latest social media networks and advice.
Check privacy settings on your child’s social network. Make sure these are set so that only family/close friends can see their profiles, especially their photographs and location.
Stress the need for password protection and the necessity of not sharing with friends or others.
Teach them about cyberbullying. Encourage them to use appropriate language online, if they wouldn’t say it in person, don’t text or post it on line. Get them to report cyberbullying and talk to a trusted adult if they or someone they know is being cyberbullied.
Think before you post or engage in sexting. Ensure your child is aware that whatever they put online can be shared with the entire world forever.
Set a positive example. Lead by example of how to behave online, do not post inappropriately yourself, protect your social media profiles and limit your usage to a reasonable time
The UK Safer Internet Centre have published a number of short films to help adults talk to children about their online lives at https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/sid-films
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Keeping Suffolk’s young people safe online is massively important – the internet has huge benefits but it can also pose huge dangers. I fully support the ‘Together For A Better Internet’ campaign to highlight the risks. We must work together to protect our young people and make parents and carers aware of the help available to support their children. These threats need to be tackled now and I have pledged to do all I can to protect young people in the county.”
As part of Safer Internet day families are also being encourage to sign up to their own Internet Safety Plan. This gives them the chance to talk about online behaviours, such as what they should or shouldn’t do on the internet, agree how long devices can be used every day and what to do if something has caused upset. https://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Online-safety-agreement.pdf
During the week officers from Suffolk Police will also be going into various schools across the county to raise awareness and educate young people around online safety as part of their continued work.
For more information and advice go to http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/online-safety