Safer Internet Day is an annual event that teaches and encourages parents and children to be aware of dangers online, in an era of cyberbullying, trolling and grooming the event hopes to provide internet users with the awareness of any potential threats.
Cheshire Police urge parents to learn the signs of online grooming to protect their children’s safety and are encouraged to follow what their children are doing online and who they are talking to.
Janet Myers, local mum and online awareness activist, stated: “As a parent myself, I know how important it is to be aware of what my children are doing online. The internet is such a vast place they could be talking to anyone; it is incredibly dangerous.”
Cheshire Police issued the following guidance to help reduce risks:
* Try to put the computer in an easy to see place in the home so that you can monitor what sites your child is visiting
* Check out the websites your child is using; just like you’d check out a school or a youth group they might visit. Have a look and make a judgement whether you think it is a safe environment for them to be involved in.
* Set up reasonable guidelines and limits for internet usage. Understand that it may be a big part of their life but that it needs to be regulated
* Explain to your children why it is important for them never to give out personal details or post pictures of themselves publicly, just like you would when you explain to them not to talk to strangers
* Install internet filtering software showing a Child Safety Online Kitemark, on your computer. Filtering products with a Kitemark have been independently tested to provide a simple and effective means of support to parents, helping to ensure that a child’s online experience is a safe one. The Kitemark scheme is sponsored by the Home Office and Ofcom.
Janet Myers, added: “Hopefully with a campaign like this more parents will become aware of online dangers and how to prevent them.”
For further information on online safety visit UK Safer Internet Centre website: https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/
Alternatively, if you have any issues or concerns contact Cheshire Police on 101.
By Holly Aindow