The Internet Matters website can help you to find out more about what your children might be doing online and give you some simple, practical and easy advice on the steps you can take as a parent to keep them as safe as possible.
Partners working in Durham now have access to a wealth of ‘Get Safe Online’ resources. Get Safe Online is the UK’s leading source of factual and easy to understand information on online safety.
There is a range of advice and information practitioners can access concerning safeguarding children. This includes gaming, texting and sexting, apps, cyberbullying, online radicalisation and safe browsing amongst others.
Other subjects such as social networking, protecting your tablets, smartphones, protecting yourself and online shopping and banking will also be of interest.
You can access all of the available resources at the Get Safe Online website
Ashleigh Hall, a 17-year-old from County Durham, was raped and murdered by a stranger posing as a teenage boy on an internet social networking site. Her parents have worked together with the police to create the “Ashleigh’s Rules” document so that other children and young people can be kept safe. You can find ‘Ashleigh’s Rules’ in the Resource Library section of this website.
- Never go on your own to meet up with somebody you or your friends don’t know, make sure that you meet them in a group of at least 2-3 and in a public, well-lit and populated area.
Inform somebody of where you are going and what time you should be back, also the name of who you are meeting.
Don’t accept anyone on social networking sites that you don’t know.
Remember never to trust anyone who you have met online, you don’t know what they are capable of doing.
Never tell a stranger on network sites or chat rooms anything personal about yourself, e.g. where you live, date of birth etc.
Never meet anyone you don’t know, simple as!
For more information and support to help keep children and young people safe from online abuse see NSPCC’s Share Aware resources, and also their NSPCC Net Aware resource, which enables you to search for and get reviews of all of the latest sites and apps so that you are fully informed of the risks.
Jessie & Friends is a three-episode animated series that aims to equip 4 to 7-year-olds with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to help them stay safe from sexual abuse and other risks they may encounter online. Access the link here
You can find more information on spotting the signs of online harm from the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) website.
Sexting: You can find a posters in the Resource Library that have been produced for schools and parents by the National Online Safety.com that gives lots of information on the following online sites and apps.
YouTube: NSPCC recommends that you take the time to explore YouTube’s safety information for parents and think about which features are right for your child.
You can also find Google's own "Staying safe on YouTube" guides for young people, parents, carers and educators.
Cyber Protect Guide for Parents and Carers, here
Schools can access many guides and resources to help children, young people and adults learn about risks and good practices when using apps and being online at the National Online Safety website.
Durham Police have also shared this general Guide to Cyber Security.
Online Radicalisation - The Let's Talk About It website has information about the potential vulnerabilities that may be used to influence people and the Act Early website has guidance on how to spot signs that someone may be being influenced by extreme material online.
Parental control apps also exist such as https://ourpact.com to help you keep your children safe.
The North East Regional Cyber Crime Unit (NERCCU), with colleagues from Cleveland Police, Durham Constabulary and Northumbria Police, make up a regional network of specialist cyber officers that deliver nationally approved messaging.
We work closely with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and are a trusted partner of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
We have a dedicated team who work closely with the National Crime Agency (NCA) to deliver a national initiative called Cyber Choices which focuses on preventing young people from becoming involved in cyber crime.
The aim of Cyber Choices is to educate young people, who have an interest in technology, to use their skills safely and legally while also raising an awareness of the consequences of becoming involved in cyber crime. If you have concerns about a young person who may be involved in cyber criminality or would like some advice around the Computer Misuse Act, a referral form can be located on the NERCCU website. There is also a library of information to help you understand what to look out for and how to keep your children, yourself and your business safe from online threats.
You can find more information via the NERCCU website: https://nerccu.police.uk/about/