Safeguarding team urge parents to talk about internet safety

Communities / Fri 23rd Jan 2015 at 12:42pm

Lewis DaynesTHE Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) is asking parents to talk openly to their children about the internet.

Sometimes children and young people don’t realise that they are taking risks, and they may be embarrassed to say what they have encountered online, and that’s why the ESCB is backing the new NSPCC Share Aware campaign. The campaign encourages parents to talk to their children about how to make themselves safe when using their favourite apps and websites.

According to an NSPCC panel of more than 500 parents from Mumsnet, all the top social networking sites aimed at adults and teenagers were too easy for children under 13 to sign-up to.

The Essex Safeguarding Children Board Independent Chair, Simon Hart said: “The ESCB has been promoting online safety for many years and in 2013 we launched our Hidden Lives campaign which aimed to raise awareness of the dangers children could be facing online when they are in private. Children may be worried to talk about what they have done or seen online for fear of being banned from going online.

“We want children, and parents alike, to feel comfortable and confident about being able to talk openly about online safety, which is why we are now backing the NSPCC Share Aware campaign, which launched last Friday (January 9).”

The NSPCC has used the feedback from parents, children and young people to create a new online guide to help inform parents about the risks of different social networking sites used by children.

Among the tools is a Parents’ Guide to Social Networking – a no-nonsense guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use – as provided by parents and young people themselves.

People can find out more about the NSPCC campaign at www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware and join the debate on social media by following #ShareAware.

Anyone looking for advice about keeping children safe online, or concerned about the safety and welfare of a child, can contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email [email protected]

Children worried about online safety or any other problem can call the free, 24-hour helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk

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