Together for a Better Internet 2019
Suffolk police are asking parents and carers to talk to their children about staying safe online and come #TogetherforaBetterInternet
Safer Internet Day, on Tuesday 5 February, is co-ordinated by the UK Safer Internet Centre, aims to highlight positive uses of technology and the role everyone plays in helping to create a better and safer online community for children and young people.
Suffolk Police will be supporting this year’s campaign by asking parents and carers to look at whether the social media accounts, websites and apps that their children have access to are appropriate.
Detective Inspector Steve Corbett said: "The theme of this year’s Safer Internet day is ‘Together For A Better Internet’ and by working together families can ensure they are all playing a role together to stay safe online.”
"We are asking parents and carers across Suffolk to sit down with their children and talk frankly about their online activity,
- Get to know and become familiar with the social networks your children use, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, You Tube, Tumblr. InternetMatters and ThinkYouKnow websites are good sources of information for keeping up with the latest social media networks and advice.
- Check privacy settings on your child’s social network. Make sure these are set so that only family/close friends can see their profiles, especially their photographs and location. Stress the need for password protection and the necessity of not sharing with friends or others.
- Teach them about cyberbullying. Encourage them to use appropriate language online, if they wouldn’t say it in person, don’t text or post it on line. Get them to report cyberbullying and talk to a trusted adult if they or someone they know is being cyberbullied.
- Think before you post or engage in sexting. Ensure your child is aware that whatever they put online can be shared with the entire world forever!
- Set a positive example. Lead by example of how to behave online, do not post inappropriately yourself, protect your social media profiles and limit your usage to a reasonable time.
"We understand the great public concern that has recently been expressed over children and young people accessing content related to self-harm and suicide online and we would urge people to visit Internet Matters https://www.internetmatters.org for a comprehensive range of support and advice. "
Tim Passmore, Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner said, "Keeping Suffolk’s young people safe online is an issue of grave concern. We’ve had many of reports about grooming and violence being incited online and these threats need to be tackled now.
"I fully support the Constabulary’s campaign to come #TogetherforaBetterInternet. It is so important that parents and carers take time to talk to their children about the dangers that the internet can pose. We hear so many tragic stories of self-harm and suicide being linked to information picked up from the internet so we need to do all we can to help parents and carers to help their children to stay safe online.
He added, "Last year my £100K #StaySafeOnline Fund supported various organisations across the county. These projects funded by my office have engaged with over 100,000 young people to make them aware of the potential evil of the internet.”
As part of Safer Internet day families are also being encourage to sign up to their own Internet Safety Plan. This gives them the chance to talk about online behaviours, such as what they should or shouldn’t do on the internet, agree how long devices can be used every day and what to do if something has caused upset. https://www.childnet.com/ufiles/Online-safety-agreement.pdf
During the week officers from Suffolk Police’s cybercrime team will also be going into various schools across the county to raise awareness and educate young people around online safety as part of their continued work.
The University of Suffolk is hosting a multi-disciplinary conference on Safe Internet Day to promote the safe and positive use of digital technology for children, young people and vulnerable adults and inspire new debates for digital wellbeing. Charlotte Driver from the Cybercrime team taking part in the event and will be giving a presentation.
For more information and advice
Here are links to two hard-hitting films which highlight the greatest dangers to children of being groomed online. Children viewing this material should do so with an appropriate adult.
Murder Games: The Life and Death of Breck Bednar is a short film BBC Three docudrama which recounts the true story of a Breck, a 14-year-oldschoolboy from Surrey who was murdered after being groomed online while playing video games by an older teenager, Lewis Daynes.
Kayleigh’s Love Story is a five minute film that tells the events of the last two weeks of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood’s life, from the moment that Luke Harlow got in touch with her on Facebook to the moment that she was killed by his next door neighbour. It was made support of Kayleigh’s family by Leicestershire Police in association with Affixxius Films.
The film is a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online . Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.