The internet has become part of our everyday lives, whether accessed from a computer, mobile phone or other devices. It is used to buy and sell goods, online banking, finding information and socialising. It can also have a darker side, children and young people are more at risk of exposure to inappropriate or criminal behaviour if they are unaware of dangers.
These dangers can include:
- viewing unsuitable content e.g. hate material, adult content, sites that endorse unhealthy behaviour
- giving out personal information
- arranging to meet an online 'friend'
- becoming involved in, or the victim of, bullying, identity theft, or making and sending indecent or illegal images
- spending too much time online which can effect concentration, education, sleep and health
- copying information from the Internet or buying work from other people to use as their own.
Families can visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents to access advice and support on how to keep children safe from sexual abuse, both online and off. Articles provide guidance on topics as diverse as: challenging harmful sexual attitudes and promoting positive behaviours; helping a child with autism negotiate life online; supporting a child who has been sexually abused; and dealing with a range of online issues such as sending nude selfies and viewing pornography. Users will find films, downloadable guides and useful links to support organisations.