Internet Safety

Bedfordshire Police says despite warning, it's still regularly dealing with cases of grooming and cyber bullying.

It says children are still putting themselves in danger when online, which is why it's supporting Safer Internet Day.

Hundreds of thousands of 11 - 16 year olds are being bullied online nationally according to charity, Beatbullying.

Richard Denton the Children and Young People Development Officer for Bedfordshire Police said: "The Internet is a fantastic tool and the majority of the time it is a beneficial, fun and educational resource. We are just asking everyone to apply common sense and a few simple safety measures. Think about who you are talking to, the information you share and how you can maintain your privacy. We hope that this event will enhance the work we do all year round to keep young people safe online."

Bedfordshire Police's top 10 Internet safety tips:

1) Visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk to find out more about keeping safe online.

2) Look at installing security products allow parents/carers to block certain websites, implement time limits and monitor activity.

3) Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.

4) Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club. Small pieces of information can be easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.

5) Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.

6) It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as a result young people sometimes engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they wouldn't want a parent or carer to see. 

7) It your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.

8) It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain - it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.

9) Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers. 

10) Always keep communication open for child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.

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