Thames Valley Police (TVP) has been raising awareness of online child abuse as part of their Hidden Harm campaign.
The internet is a huge part of most of our lives, especially for the younger generation, and while it brings a great deal of positive opportunities unfortunately it can be misused by some people.
TVP have set out some guidelines on how to keep children safe:
Understand the types of social media available to children and young people including age restrictions – take a look at Net Aware, developed by the NSPCC and O2, which can help you explore the sites, apps and games that they use most.
Know what your child is doing online and talk to them about it – no matter how old they are it’s important to have regular conversations about the types of sites they’re accessing, what the dangers are and how they can stay safe. The NSPCC’s Share Aware pages gives some good advice on how to start these conversations.
Set up and manage parental controls on all your family’s devices. You can call the free NSPCC and O2 Helpline on 0808 800 5002 to chat to an expert advisor.
Reassure your children that they can talk to you about anything that is worrying them – we can all do our best to keep children safe online but sometimes things can go wrong, so it’s important that they know where to go should this happen. Encourage them to talk to you or alternatively contact Childline on 0800 1111 for free confidential advice and support.
For more information about the signs of online child abuse and the force’s Hidden Harm campaign visit the website – www.thamesvalley.police.uk/hiddenharm