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This from Colin Peak, NSPCC Regional Head of Service for London and the South East. Ed
Today (Tuesday 7th February) the world is celebrating Safer Internet Day 2017 and the NSPCC welcomes the celebrations. We are working extremely hard in partnership with O2 and the thousands of parents/carers we have spoken to, to give children the best chance to be safe online.
To children, the online world is real life and we want to help parents explore and understand online life as kids know it.
Don’t put your children at risk
There are many dangers that young people can face online, and if online safety isn’t a regular conversation at school or at home it can put your children at risk.
It’s incredibly important that we regularly speak to children about what they like to do online, so that we can understand the type of things they are doing, and any risks associated with their online activity. This also gets the message across that we are ready to listen and support them if something does go wrong.
Children targeted through Apps
In the last few weeks I have commented in the media on a growing number of online concerns involving children and young people being targeted by adults through popular “apps” and even online ‘crazes’ that involve children physically hurting themselves.
Parents can really help reduce the risk to their children through positive conversations about their child’s online world, and showing an interest in what their child is doing online.
Online safety helpline
The NSPCC, in partnership with O2 has a dedicated online safety helpline for parents and carers where you can get advice on how technology can help keep your child safe or discuss any concerns you have.
You can contact them free on 0808 800 5002. You don’t need to be an O2 customer to use this service.
We also have a dedicated Website for parents called Net-Aware which gives information about the apps, games and sites that children download and use. It’s a great place to start if you want to find out what children enjoy doing online.
So whilst Safer Internet Day is a special day to promote conversations with our children about online safety, please remember that the NSPCC is here all year round, 24/7, to answer your questions and provide support to you to keep children safe online.
Colin Peak, NSPCC Regional Head of Service for London and the South East
Image: © O2 NSPCC