The internet offers a fantastic opportunity for children and adults alike to access information and communicate with one another; however it can be a little daunting to know where to start when wanting to protect our children online.
We strongly recommend that you talk to your children about what they are doing on computers, smartphones and tablets and that you show an interest in any games they are participating in. It is very easy for children to stumble across inappropriate material online and we would emphasise how important parental controls and general awareness of your child’s activities are.
Children often forget to behave online in the same responsible way they may do face to face with friends. It is easy to feel anonymous and get carried away online and it is important that children are aware of who is able to view and potentially share the information they post. Please encourage your child to think before they post – would they be happy if their post was seen by a family friend, grandparent or even a teacher?
The following websites offer some good advice on how to protect your children and keep them safe online.
http://www.nspcc.org.uk/ then select Preventing Abuse, Online Safety
Officers from the Neighbourhood Policing Teams within North Yorkshire Police would like to make parents aware of the following update that has released on snapchat.
If your children have the Snapchat app and GPS on their phone please take a look at this.
It seems with the new update there is a new feature on Snapchat. When you open the app place two fingers on the screen and drag them together 'pinch' just like when zooming out on an interactive map. This will then open the new feature. It shows your location with near exact accuracy and can be only a couple of meters wrong. This means people can see exactly where you are at any time.
To turn this off there is a settings button in the top right and can turn the feature to ghost mode. This will hide your location from others. Also turn off the phones GPS as an extra level of security.
If you need any help please contact your phone provider or visit an O2 store and speak to one of their gurus. This is a free service and regardless of the network you are on. The gurus can help with any technical questions and security advice.
Please remind your children to only have 'friends' on these apps who they actually know, this will keep them safer online.
While we have focused this on keeping children safe. Please be mindful features like this could be used by criminals, knowing when you're out or even where you live. Always be mindful of posting pictures with cycles and such which would show people exactly where you store them. Then show when you are out.