POLICE CALL: Keep your children web safe and savvy

Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong
Chief Inspector Damian Armstrong

I attended a meeting this week which highlighted the dangers of the internet and provided some graphic examples of where irresponsible use had really affected people’s lives.

It’s difficult to imagine life without the internet.

For many of our younger people it’s all they’ve known – they’ve grown up with social media, online shopping and video downloads.

But this begs the question, how do we keep ourselves and our children safe?

Many parents have no idea what their children are viewing but, by taking an active role in supervising how they use the internet, young people can have fun, source information and be safe from some of the dangers.

Many of the online resources available list ways to keep young people safe and have parent/carer zones.

One of the simplest ways is to activate parental controls and to ensure you have a secure internet connection.

Another is simply to talk about what they are looking at and encourage them to explore the internet with you so that you have an idea of what they are looking at.

Finally, be aware of the use of webcams/phone cameras and the “selfie”. Once an image or video is uploaded it’s likely to be there forever and can be quickly outwith your control.