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Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said:
Social networking websites help connect friends using blogs, profiles, email systems and photos. Well known sites include Twitter and Facebook.
How to guide children through social networking:
- Encourage children to upload pictures that you are happy with
- Don't allow them to identify their school
- Encourage them to reject 'friendship requests' from strangers and not to add anyone they don't know
- Do not allow them to post their phone number or email addresses
Police compare leaving a child to roam the internet freely to leaving a child alone in a strange area. They remind parents that just because they are inside does not mean they're safe. People in chat rooms and forums an exploit others by masking identities, awareness is important.
How to reduce risk:
- Keep computers in open areas
- Establish guidelines and talk about them
- Go on the sites your child uses
- Learn 'text' language like 'u' for 'you'
- Meet their online friends like you'd meet school friends
- Only allow meetings in public with an adult present
- Encourage questions
- If in doubt, contact police
The region's police forces are supporting the 11th Safer Internet Day. The theme is 'Let's create a better internet together'. The aim is to raise awareness of internet dangers with young people and also explain to parents how to keep the web safe.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is backing Safer Internet Day, the worldwide event aimed at promoting a more responsible use of technology. The force has its own youth website which provides information and advice for young people, parents and teachers about staying safe.
Latest ITV News reports
The number of internet grooming cases has doubled in parts of the North East