Leicestershire Police support 10th anniversary of International Safer Internet Day

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Police are supporting a campaign that warns parents and their children of the dangers of the internet and online sexual abuse.

Today (Tuesday) marks the 10th anniversary of International Safer Internet Day, an event that has brought safeguarding hints and tips to children via parents and schools.

This week, policing organisation the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre, has said that with technology accessible in most homes, a child can be a victim of sexual abuse without leaving the home.

Luka Moscetano, youth involvement officer for Leicestershire Police, said: “It is likely that your child’s use of the internet will be progressing at a greater rate than yours. That’s why it’s even more important to be involved in your child’s online life.”

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Bebo all encourage the sharing of content. Users of Facebook and Twitter get a social media response in terms of how many people online like or retweet or share their message. Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre’s new video ‘2 in a million’ tells the story of how that response can motivate exactly what is posted by young people and how that can be damaging.

Mr Moscetano added: “We’d advise you to sit down with your children and watch the prevention videos on YouTube together, discussing the moral of each story. Use the narratives to explain your need to know about what they are doing online.

“We’ve made it easy for you to watch all the films in one sitting – just watch our Child Exploitation and Online Protection Playlist on our YouTube page available from our website.”

Mr Moscetano, gives the following advice for parents:

- Put the computer somewhere that you can easily see it when your children are using it. A shared space like the living room or kitchen, somewhere where you spend time together as a family.

- Check the browsing history. You can check to see if there are gaps of time missing in the history. If you have lots of web browsers available on your computer, delete one and agree that it is the only one to be used.

- Install software that blocks inappropriate sites and keeps track of browsing history.

- Watch when your child is using the internet. If they are trying to hide something, it is usually fairly obvious. They will minimize or close windows quickly when you walk by or be constantly looking around.

- Keep up with the technology. The technology of the internet is constantly changing, so know what there is that your child may be doing on the internet and the risks associated with that activity.

- Talk to your children and set boundaries. This can often solve any problem before it happens.