9 February 2016 PCC supports Safer internet Day Suffolk’s PCC is joining Suffolk Constabulary by supporting Safer Internet Day which takes place on Tuesday 9 February and is organised by the Safer Internet Centre. You can find them on twitter at @UK_SIC and use the hashtag, #SID2016, to show your support. This annual event highlights the positive uses of digital technology and promotes the role that everybody can play in helping to create a safer, better online community for children and young people. Everybody can get involved in the #shareaheart social media campaign to help inspire kindness online and help raise awareness about the issue of online hate. The day is an opportunity to highlight areas of concern such as cyber crime, online grooming, cyber bullying, online hate crime, sexting and the challenges that these present to parents, carers, young people, social services, schools and the police. Steve Mattin Detective Superintendent of the Cyber & Serious Crime Directorate said “With the exponential rise of digital technology and the internet, new and difficult challenges have presented themselves to parents and carers raising children in this new age. The UK Safer Internet day on the 9th February and events such as these highlight the ever increasing need to not only raise awareness of what our children are doing online, but to encourage open and honest dialogue about the dangers that they face” Online Safety Advice Age Ratings: Always check the age or PEGI rating of a game, this will ensure that the content of the game is appropriate for your child. It may also indicate the ages your child will be in contact with online, for further information visit PEGI. Online Gaming: It is easy for a child to build friendships and connect with people gaming across the world but this also can expose them to offensive language, bullying or grooming. Ask who they play with online and who they talk to and not to share private information as not everyone is who they say they are. Sharing Information: Educate your children about the risks of sharing their information online such as their name, address, email address and passwords. Make sure your child is well informed and their privacy settings on social media are high. Be in the Know: What are your children are doing online? Whether they are using twitter, Instagram, snapchat or one of the other countless social networks, make sure you talk to your child about the dangers and understand how these applications work. For more information visit Internet Matters. Parental Control: If you are worried about what your child could be viewing online, make sure your Parental Controls are enabled either through your Internet Service Provider or consider buying one of the large number of software available for both your computer and mobile devices. Digital Footprint: Talk to your children about their digital footprint and online reputation and that everything they post on social media and to the internet has a consequence. Texting and Sexting: It is always important to explain to children the huge risks behind taking, sending and receiving naked or sexual images. Once that image is sent, there is no way of getting it back. Importantly, sending or receiving that explicit image, a young person will also be breaking the law. Be Open and Honest: Make sure your child knows that you are approachable and that they can come to you if they see something online or they are concerned about anything whether it is through online gaming or social media. Online safety should be always be an open and ongoing conversation. Can you say anything you want online? Know the law Online actions can have offline consequences, and some things that are posted can even break the law. Find out more about how online hate can become a hate crime, and if you see anything online that you think might break the law then report to your local police by calling 101 or speak to an adult who can help you to take action. For Parents and Carers Find out more about how to keep your family safe online with the UK Safer Internet Centre’s four steps: Have continuing conversations with your children about staying safe online and have a look at their recommended family agreement? Use safety tools on social networks and other online services, e.g. Facebook privacy settings, YouTube Restricted Mode Decide if you want to use parental controls on your home internet Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer in the Parents’ Guide to Technology Grooming is a process of manipulating a child to gain control over them. Anyone concerned about behaviour towards a can report this directly to CEOP via their website. The site also contains top tips for young people on how to stay safe. Parents can also visit the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre’s (CEOP)’Thinkuknow’ website for more information. More information for parents and carers is available on the Safer Internet site.