Saturday, May 25, 2024

NSPCC make plea on Safer Internet Day

Dear Editor,

Safer Internet Day 2017 is marked on Tuesday 7th February and the NSPCC welcomes the campaign. We are working extremely hard in partnership with O2 to give children the best chance to stay safe online.

To children, online friends are real friends and online life is real life. There’s no difference and there are many dangers that young people can face.

We are seeing a growing number of cases where children and young people have been targeted by adults through popular apps and social media platforms leading to abuse both online and in every-day settings.

Figures obtained by the NSPCC show last year in Essex, the internet was used as a gateway by offenders to commit 62 sex crimes against children.

Online sexual abuse can take many forms, such as grooming, child sexual exploitation and being made to perform sex acts on webcam.

It’s incredibly important that we regularly speak to children about what they like to do online and the risks they could face, ensuring we are ready to listen and support them if something does go wrong.

The NSPCC, in partnership with O2 has a dedicated online safety helpline for parents and carers where you can get advice on how technology can help keep your child safe or discuss any concerns you have. You can call the helpline free on 0808 800 5002 and you don’t need to be an O2 customer to use this service.

We also have a dedicated website for parents called Net-Aware which gives information about the apps, games and sites that children download and use.

Keeping children safe online is everyone’s responsibility, so I hope Safer Internet Day will inspire more tech companies to unite with government and organisations like the NSPCC to build a better internet for children.

Yours sincerely,

Sarah Laffling
NSPCC Community Fundraising Manager, Essex

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