Internet safety: the golden rules

Parents urged to set ground rules for their child’s internet use.

Police have hammered home the need for parents to be aware of internet dangers during a public meeting in Honiton.

The South West Grid for Learning teamed up with the Youth Intervention Officer for Honiton, Axminster and Seaton, Hayley Taylor, to organise the information evening.

PC Alan Earle, of Avon and Somerset Constabulary, gave a presentation to around 40 parents at Honiton Community College last Thursday. During the presentation, he discussed how children and young people use the internet, from social networking to accessing services through mobile phones and games consoles.

Parents were told to remember the golden rules:

l Establish ground rules on how the internet should be used in your home.

l Keep information private.

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l Agree rules about meeting online friends.

l Ensure anti-virus software and parental monitoring systems are in place.

l Activate security and privacy settings.

l Remember that the internet can be accessed wherever your child is through devices such as games consoles and mobile phones.

l Talk to your child.

PC Earle said: “Have a dialogue with your child, engage in their online life and support them if they are having any problems.

“Be aware of what they are doing.”

He added: “If they are savvy in the real world, it is very likely they will be savvy online.”

Both children and adults should be aware of content they are posting online particularly on social networking websites and the digital footprint of personal information they may be leaving behind.

PC Hayley Taylor said: “We need parents to talk to their children and guide them about what is acceptable and what is not.

“Internet safety is very important – there are so many pitfalls you can fall into and there can be far reaching effects on them later in life.

“A lot of it is about having a dialogue with your child and making sure they feel comfortable talking to their parents.

“Talk to your child about what is worrying you.

“It is never too late to tell someone if you are having problems.”

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