Following NSPCC’s worrying report released today we’ve put an Internet Safety Checklist together…
The NSPCC has reported that children as young as one year have fallen victim to online paedophiles.
There were 3,186 internet-related sex crimes against children recorded by 38 police forces in England and Wales in 2015/16, according to the charity's report.
The offences included sexual assaults, grooming victims and inciting children to take part in sexual acts. 272 children were under the age of 10 and the youngest was just one year old.
Chief executive of the NSPCC Peter Wanless said the figures "confirm our fears that the online world is playing a significant role in the sexual abuse of children in the UK". He added "We know grooming is on the rise because children are increasingly telling our ChildLine service how they are being targeted online. "Predatory adults posing as children try to meet them or blackmail them into meeting up or performing sexual acts on webcams, which obviously terrifies them and can leave some feeling suicidal."
Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner for England, said the "concerning" figures were likely to be "just the tip of the iceberg". She added: "The internet is increasingly integral to children's lives and they need to be educated about the risks, as well as how to report suspicious behaviour.”
INTERNET SAFETY CHECKLIST FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (AGE 5-11)
Be clear what your child can and can’t do online – where they can use the internet, how much time they can spend online, the sites they can visit and the type of information they can share. Agree with your child when they can have a mobile phone or tablet.
The best way to find out what your child is doing online is to ask them to tell you about what they do and what sites they like to visit. If they’re happy to, ask them to show you. Talk to them about being a good friend online.
Put yourself in control
Install parental controls on your home broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Set up a user account for your child on the main device they use and make sure other accounts in the household are password-protected so that younger children can’t access them by accident.
Use airplane mode
Use airplane mode on your devices when your child is using them so they can’t make any unapproved purchases or interact with anyone online without your knowledge.
Encourage them to use their tech devices in a communal area like the sitting room or kitchen so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet and also share in their fun.
Talk to siblings
It’s also a good idea to talk to any older children about what they’re doing online and what they show to younger children. Encourage them to be responsible and help keep their younger siblings safe.
Use safe search engines such as Swiggle or Kids-search. You can save time by adding these to your ‘Favourites’. Safe search settings can also be activated on Google and other search engines, as well as YouTube.
Check if it’s suitable
The age ratings that come with games, apps, films and social networks are a good guide to whether they’re suitable for your child. For example, the minimum age limit is 13 for several social networking sites, including Facebook and Instagram.
For more information and advise on internet safety check out www.internetmatters.org