Norfolk Police is supporting a national campaign launched today to help parents keep their children safe online.
The NSPCC’s Share Aware initiative aims to encourage parents and other adults to speak to children about the dangers the online world can bring.
It is mainly focused on the parents of children aged eight to 12, when they tend to become more independent and use a wider range of devices.
As well as offering a number of resources to adults, the Share Aware campgain has two animations to be released on prime time television and digital platforms which follow the stories of two children who share too much about themselves online.
Detective Superintendent Julie Wvendth, of Norfolk Police’s Safeguarding and Investigations Command, said: “There is no doubt that this Christmas, Wii consoles, iPads, mobile phones and other electronic gadgets will have been on many a child’s wish list.
“Now is the time for parents, who have not already done so, to have important conversations with their children about who they may be chatting to online and what they may be sharing about themselves.
“Many parents can feel apprehensive about being too inquisitive about their children’s lives, particularly when they start to find independence at high school, but this is the time when they need to adopt prying eyes and set rules around internet use to help their child to understand that strangers online are still strangers and they need to keep their personal information private.”
The campaign follows the launch of a specialist police unit set up to tackle online abuse of children across Norfolk.
The Safeguarding Children Online team, launched in June, aims to investigate online grooming and the possession and distribution of illegal images, while also aiming to identify victims who are being or have been abused and work with agencies to put safeguarding measures in place.
Key guidance for parents includes talking to children and being aware of what they are doing online, setting and agreeing rules and boundaries, making sure their privacy is protected and ensuring they know how to use the reporting tools available.
For more information about Share Aware visit the NSPCC website at www.nspcc.org.uk/shareaware. Parents can also contact the NSPCC’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 800 5000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the free, 24-hour Childline helpline on 0800 1111 or get help online at www.childline.org.uk.