Parents and carers can get extra support from today (Thursday 12 October) as a national charity tackling child sexual exploitation launches new online and printed advice – giving hints and tips on protecting their families from online predators.
“Online: Onguard” is a clear and easily understandable guide developed by charity NWG and the UK Safer Internet Centre (UKSIC) to parents and carers keep chidlren safe online.
Parents and carers can download a copy of the guide from the NWG’s website and professionals and agencies supporting families can purchase hard copies of the guide from the NWG’s online shop.
Maria Cassidy, parental engagement lead for the charity said: “Many people have not been shown how to be safer online, are unaware of the complexities of online grooming and are overwhelmed by the internet and their child’s use of it but still try their best to keep their child safe. This leaflet will helpget the conversation started..”
The leaflet explores with parents/carers the importance of their own online safety and how through positive role modelling they can teach their children to become safer online too.
The leaflet uses a traffic light system covering ten topics including streaming, grooming, gaming and datingamong others. Each section identifies an online activity for parents/carers to consider, an action to complete, things to avoid and prompts for questions and discussions in the home. It also has a list of services and websites for support.
Maria added: “Children know so much about the internet and social media yet we need their parents or carers to be talking and listening with their children about sites and platforms they are using and to be alert for changes in behaviours and concerns online.
“We need to empower parents to feel confident and knowledgeable about the online world, to tap into community assets such as local groups, schools, libraries, other friends to share and develop skills and knowledge and to inform parents about what to do and where to go when they have concerns.
“The internet is a fantastic tool with limitless opportunities but it is also global, fast and anonymous and can leave families vulnerable to risks.
“We hope this guide will help professionals working with parents and parents themselves to become safer digital parents and in turn help children to be safer online.”
The guide is available HERE to download.