This Morning's crime survey revealed more than half of parents do not think their children are safe online.
Kicking off our Crime Week is the former detective who exposed the Jimmy Savile scandal, Mark Williams-Thomas, who joins us along with his colleague, ex-undercover police officer Jon Taylor, to look at online predators and explain the dos and don'ts of how to keep safe in the tangled web of the online world.
Guide for parents – Helping to keep children safe online
Make it a family affair
The most important thing to maintain safe Internet use within your household is open communication. Talk to your children regularly, about their online activities and help them understand how to use the Internet responsibly.
Create online time limits
While the Internet is a fun way to communicate, children sometimes need to be reminded that real-life communication is just as important- promote a more balanced lifestyle for them, online and off.
Understand what should and should not be posted online
Maintaining your privacy has never been so crucial. With the entire world available at our fingertips, it’s vital that your children understand that by posting information online, it receives public exposure. Personal information should not be shared- “think twice before you post.”
Have a family email address
Set up a family email account which can be used specifically to register for websites, competitions etc.
Assume everyone is watching
There’s a huge, vast audience out there. If someone is your friend’s friend, they can see everything.
Talk to your children
Your children are likely to have far greater knowledge than you about the internet so speak to them about where they go, what sites they visit. Sit with them whilst they are using the internet.
Social Networking Sites
SNS profile not to include image of user on homepage (under 16). Profile to be set to private, however, remember some SNS do have facility to show who is online. Password to kept by parent / guardian to allow for access, updating or changing when need arises. Remember computers can be set up to allow user to automatically log in. No personal details on site…..Email / mobile /address / school / clubs / age.......etc
Consider limiting the amount of friends son/daughter allowed to invite / accept dependent on age; eg (11-13 yrs = 30 contacts) (14 yrs = 40 contacts) (15 yrs = 50 contacts) (16 yrs = Unlimited but monitored)
Parent / Guardian to become members of the same site, either with or without correct details, photograph to be included.
Chat facilities, Web Cam Chats, File Sharing Systems should NOT be used, even if they state they are for children only. The users are only electronically verified and so anyone can join. Chat facilities do not require profiles and allow for complete anonymity.
Internet has predators
The best person to keep a child safe is the child so tell them that some people on line are not who they say they are. They may lie, by pretending to be someone else, like a child when in fact they are an adult. Tell them that if they are ever asked to do something or told something that either worries them or causes them concern they must tell you or an adult about it.
If you are worried about the Internet or just want to find out more information www.thinkuknow.co.uk contains a lot of useful information.
Please either contact your local police force either on 101 or in an emergency 999. You can also report online to Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center (CEOP): www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre