The internet is such an integral part of children's lives these days. It opens up so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to, quite literally, a world of information and experiences. Whether on a computer at school, a laptop at home, a games console or mobile phone, children and young people are increasingly accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are.

As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so - particularly from those people who might seek them out to harm them.

Where's Klaus?
Check out the latest internet safety film here


Below is a link to a presentation detailing help and information from CEOP
for parents to protect their children online, presented by  Kirsty Young


Archives - Extract from Parent Internet Safety Update - useful information

This month ...

Getting personal

Encouraging children to keep their personal information private is one of the biggest challenges we face. Indeed so many sites and services online look as though they encouraging young people to share more and more information.

Of course, the internet is a great place to be for all young people, letting them explore and learn about the world however, like in the offline world, children and young people can push at the boundaries with regards to what they can say and do online. But there are risks, particularly in giving out too much information. So what is personal information?

Well, this can be their full name, their address, their mobile number, what school they go to, their email address, photos of themselves and any hobbies they are involved in. Of course, friends in the real world are likely to know all this information - so why put it all online?

It seems that stories regularly appear where children have been chatting online to someone who they later find out is an adult. The application of grooming techniques by offenders is made far easier in online environments as offenders are able to build a range of contacts and express shared interests and opinions with children, who are increasingly used to having the world as their audience in online forums. When there is a wealth of personal information available, this can be used to groom a child or even locate them in the real world.

What can you do?

Children and young people need to understand the risks they may face by disclosing lots of personal information in these online environments. Below are some key points for you to talk through with your children:

  • It's a good idea to make sure the people on your children's contact lists are known to them in the 'real world'. That way they can be sure of who they are talking to.
  • Keep personal information personal and offline where possible - friends in the real world will already have this information.
  • Webcam images and clips are classed as personal information and they can be recorded and copied, as well as shared with other people. If your children are using webcams, it's a good idea for them to only use it with people they know in the real world.
  • Photos that are posted in online forums such as social networking sites can also be copied and used by strangers elsewhere. Offenders can pose as a child and use photos they have found to hide behind. If a photo is not suitable to be handed around the dinner table, it should not be posted online.
  • Encourage your children to visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk - this is their site and show them how they can report to specialist police officers at the CEOP Centre if they experience inappropriate behaviour online, using the 'Report Abuse' button.

 

Go on - take the test

Are you a switched on mum or a digital dad? Take our online poll and find out more ...


Get involved in Safer Internet Day - 10 February 2009

Are you are aware of this date? Well across the EU, countries are using this day as a focus to send out 'be safe online' messages and here in the UK we are doing our bit. The CEOP Centre is encouraging every school - primary and secondary - to hold specially designed assemblies using the free Thinkuknow resources available. Is your child's school following the many thousands who have already registered? Ask and find out and let's get as many schools as possible using this key date in the calendar as a day to empower all children and young people to be safer online.


Talk the talk - break the language barrier!

Each month we are going to test your knowledge and ask you to decipher an acronym used commonly by children and young people online - you know the kind of shorthand that is now widely used across social networking and instant messenger sites. Like for instance BRB, which to any informed chatter or social networker means 'be right back'.

This month we present to you SOHF ... what does it mean?

Visit: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to find out if you have guessed correct.

So there we have it. Our latest instalment in working with you to keep young people safe online. Now we ask that you do your bit. Visit: http://ceop.gov.uk and read up on the many subjects we cover and encourage your friends and family with children to do the same and register for these e-mails.