The internet can be a great place to learn new things and meet new people but at the same time there are hidden dangers, not everything you read on the net will be true, and not everyone you chat with, or email, will be who they say they are.
The Merton Partnership Against Crime, has put come simple tips together in order to help keep their children safe online:
· Tell your children that they shouldn’t give out personal information such as their name, address, mobile number, email address or even the name of their school.
· Tell them that they must never meet up with someone they have chatted to online, unless they take you or another adult they can trust with them.
· Discourage your child from having private conversations whilst in a chat room it is safer for them to chat in a public chat room.
· Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) should be able to provide a number of safety features. If you are unsure about these then contact them to find out. Remember though that these features are not foolproof.
· Keep the computer in a family room where you can keep an eye on what your child is doing on the Internet.
· If you think that your child has been approached by a paedophile then contact the police immediately. There are specialist officers who will be able to help you.
You don’t need to be an expert on computers to help keep your children safe & sound whilst on the web and remember there are lots of places you can go to for advice:
Advice for parents can be found at http://www.wiseuptothenet.co.uk or http://www.chatdanger.com and children can access advice at http://www.thinkyouknow.co.uk
You can report any illegal material to the Internet Watch Foundation on 08456 008844
Further information on crime prevention can be found at http://www.met.police.uk/crimeprevention
Or by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit for Merton on 020 8649 3249
MPAC can be contacted on 020 8545 4720 or firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS CONTACT – Kirstin Rowan – 020 8545 3483