With thousands of children across North Yorkshire and York being home schooled during the current Covid-19 lockdown, families are being encouraged to discuss staying safe online.
Mobile phones, tablets, laptops and games consoles can open up a world of exploration, learning and fun and children should be encouraged to make the most of the benefits.
But there are also risks and dangers to being online, and by working together parents and children can learn to safely navigate the internet and social media.
Here are some top tips to keep youngsters safe online during the lockdown…
- Explain how children can use privacy settings to make sure only approved friends can see posts and images, and warn them about sharing personal information
- Check if any of the mobile apps they use have location services enabled, and disable this if they do not want to be tracked
- Show them how to report offensive comments or block people who upset them
- Check ‘tagging’ settings so that when others are posting or sharing photos online, your child’s identity is not revealed
- Encourage your child to come and talk to you if they see anything that upsets them
- Ask them to show you which social media apps they use, what they like about them and talk about how to use them safely
It is essential to make sure children can enjoy all the benefits of the internet as safely as possible – whether that is for playing games, gathering information or staying in touch with family and friends.
As well as teaching children to be aware of online safety in the curriculum, keeping children safe online is a joint effort. There are a range of simple and practical steps parents can take to better protect their children from online risks.
When we buy our children their first bike we know we have to teach them to ride it. It’s the same with technology. Make sure they have the best possible experience using it by teaching them how to use it safely.
More than anything, we need to protect the fun, the engagement and the opportunities provided by technology for children and young people. Parents and carers have an important role to play here in supporting them online.
You can find out more about how children use social media, the apps they use, the risks they face, how to use privacy settings, and advice and tips about how to talk to your children at:
Reporting suspected crimes involving indecent images of children and sexual abuse
- Please contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. If you are in immediate danger, always dial 999 for an emergency response
- Child Exploitation Online Protection command (CEOP) – http://ceop.police.uk/
- Internet Watch Foundation – https://www.iwf.org.uk/ – report suspected abuse of children online
- Stop It Now! – www.stopitnow.org.uk – seek anonymous and confidential help if you or someone you know could be a sexual risk to children
- Victims who would prefer not to go direct to the police and are not in immediate danger, can contact Bridge House, North Yorkshire’s Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC), on 0330 223 0362, email [email protected] or go to www.bridgehousesarc.org/
- You can also contact the Supporting Victims Unit direct at www.supportingvictims.org or call 01609 643100
- NSPCC Helplines: Help for adults concerned about a child – call 0808 800 5000; Help for children and young people – call Childline on 0800 1111; Go to https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/