Keep Your Child Safe Online

Are you Cyber Safe?

‘Parents should consider turning off cameras and geolocation settings to protect their children from hackers, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned. Smart toys and wearable devices are among the most desirable children’s toys. The regulator has warned their internet connectivity presents safety risks from hackers. The guidance comes amid growing concern about the susceptibility of cameras, microphones and sensors on toys to hacking.’

Advice for parents who might buy smart toys for their children is to urge adults to consider their child’s online safety, and also the potential threat to their own personal data such as bank details, if a toy, device or a supporting app is hacked into. Adults should check if their internet router is secure, consider setting up electronic devices with strong privacy options before their child unwraps their gift and turn off Bluetooth connections.

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP) have also recently reported the need to make children aware of the reporting procedures should they view inappropriate content on the internet. The advice from police in relation to inappropriate videos and pictures that are shared, is that if children and young people receive this content on any social media platform, they should immediately tell a trusted adult – a teacher or parent for example and follow the advice below.

It is really important they understand that if they then show this content to someone else or forward it on to other people, they could be committing a crime. The police have been clear that they do not want to criminalise children and that children won’t be in trouble if they’ve made a genuine mistake. With this in mind, the following children should be taugh to children to keep them safe online:

  1. Never share a video or image with inappropriate content.
  2. Report it to a trusted adult who should then report it to the platform it has been shared on e.g YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc.
  3. Report it to CEOP if it is an inappropriate image or video involving a child with a link to where the video or image is hosted e.g YouTube, Facebook.
  4. If it’s not on a public platform and in only exists on a device ie. phone or tablet, once reported, with authorisation of CEOP or the Police, delete it from the device it has been sent to (if usernames are visible make note of them).
  5. Encourage other people to report if it is being shared publicly.

The NSPCC Share Aware TEAM website is excellent in providing advice on this subject:

The Internet is a wonderful place, but we need to educate children to keep themselves safe online.

Helpful Websites – An education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. – All the information you need to keep your child safe online. – Helping parents keep their children safe online.

It can seem difficult to keep up-to-date with the technology that children use. You can find out much more information and support about digital technologies here.

BBC Online Safety for Children

The BBC has also launched a website to help under-12s navigate online risks. It covers everything from online privacy and avoiding malware, to dealing with everyday dilemmas children face online.


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