Many children have access to computers at home and connectivity from locations such as schools, libraries and youth clubs is now commonplace. Access to a whole range of online services from mobile phones and games consoles and similar devices are readily available. Although technology offers children unprecedented opportunities to learn and communicate in a virtual environment, there are some risks.
www.thinkuknow.co.uk is a really useful website which provides the latest information on the sites children and young people like to visit as well as mobiles and new technology.
Social networking sites brings internet safety challenges, with children and young people making detailed, sometimes inappropriate, personal information available online. When online, children may be exposed to inappropriate content which may upset or harm them. Children could also be at risk from "cyber bullying" in which online sites are used to mock them or bombard them with nasty messages.
www.thinkuknow.co.uk is run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and on they website they provide information to help parents and carers of children keep their children safe. Resources for parents and carers can be downloaded at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents.
CEOP have produced a number of films to illustrate the risks to children of the internet including this film which you can fin on Youtube through the following link which highlights the need to take certain precautions when using Social Media: www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK5OeGeudBM
HSCB, with the other West Mercia Safeguarding Boards have produced this Get "SMART"on the Internet leaflet.
The Breck Foundation is raising awareness for playing safe whilst using the internet. Breck Bednar was a 14 year old boy, from Caterham, Surrey, who loved technology and on-line gaming. He was groomed via the internet and sadly murdered on February 17th 2014 by someone he met on-line.
NSPCC have a guide to the social networks kids use - Stay up to date and keep your child safe in today's digital world. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/