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Parents and carers asked to check children are safe online for Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day aims to highlight the positives of technology while ensuring young people remain safe (Suffolk Police).

Suffolk Police are today asking people to look at whether the social media accounts, websites and apps their children use are safe and appropriate.

The national campaign aims to highlight the positive uses of technology and the role we all play in helping create a better and safer online community for young people.

Suffolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: "Keeping Suffolk’s young people safe online is massively important – the internet has huge benefits but it can also pose huge dangers. I fully support the ‘Together For A Better Internet’ campaign to highlight the risks.

"We must work together to protect our young people and make parents and carers aware of the help available to support their children.

"These threats need to be tackled now and I have pledged to do all I can to protect young people in the county."

Suffolk Police have issued the following advice for parents:

  • Get to know and become familiar with the social networks your children use, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Tumblr. 
  • Check privacy settings on your child’s social network. Make sure these are set so that only family/close friends can see their profiles, especially their photographs and location. Stress the need for password protection and the necessity of not sharing with friends or others.
  • Teach them about cyber-bullying. Encourage them to use appropriate language online, if they wouldn’t say it in person, don’t text or post it on line. Get them to report cyber-bullying and talk to a trusted adult if they or someone they know is being cyber-bullied.
  • Think before you post or engage in sexting. Ensure your child is aware that whatever they put online can be shared with the entire world forever.
  • Lead by example of how to behave online, do not post inappropriately yourself, protect your social media profiles and limit your usage to a reasonable time

Detective Superintendent David Giles said: "The theme of this year’s Safer Internet day is ‘Together For A Better Internet’ and by working together families can ensure they are all playing a role together to stay safe online.

"We are asking parents and carers across Suffolk to sit down with their children and talk frankly about their online activity,

"The UK Safer Internet Centre have published a number of short films to help adults talk to children about their online lives.

"We understand the great public concern that has recently been expressed over children and young people accessing content related to self-harm and suicide online and we would urge people to visit Internet Matters for a comprehensive range of support and advice."

As part of Safer Internet Day, police are also encouraging families to sign up to their own Internet Safety Plan.

They say it gives them the chance to talk about online behaviours, such as what they should and shouldn't do, agree how long devices can be used each day and what to do if something has caused upset.

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