Are You Safe Online?
Gloucestershire Police have unveiled a new website giving parents and children all the information they need to stay safe online.
The Safe n Savvy site has been created to coincide with the event on February 8, which promotes internet safety worldwide.
Safe n Savvy provides information to children, parents and grandparents about the dangers that lurk in cyberspace.
Our host character, Ollie, (his name is an acronym - On Line Learning Is Easy) guides readers through the key issues, ranging from sexual predators to credit card fraudsters.
The site is a one-stop-shop offering a complete suite of safety tips.
Sgt John Skilling, of the Constabulary’s Schools Unit, said: “The way we use the internet is continually changing and developing. It used to be that chat rooms were the main place to interact. Now social networking sites are very popular with all ages. The risk is that many people who go online are giving away lots of information about themselves.
“Before the internet existed it was far harder for predators to get to know children personally or for financial criminals to steal our data.
“Now anyone can go online and befriend someone on a social networking site and have access to all the details they’ve posted up there.
“In the work we do with schools around the county we advise everyone to think very carefully about what information they put on such sites.
“For example, people have been known to post up not only their address and dates of birth, but their mobile numbers as well. There have even been reports of householders announcing the dates of their holidays, only to find that web-wise burglars have taken advantage.
“Anyone who gives away this amount of information online makes it far easier for both stalkers and financial criminals to target them.
“I don’t want to scare people from using the internet, which is a wonderful tool in all kinds of ways. I’m just saying that being a little bit savvy and not taking everything you see at face value could stop you from falling prey to cyber-criminals.
“What we've done with our Safe n Savvy website is research the best available resources and guidance around, so that it is all available in one place. There are sections for infants, juniors, secondary age children, and parents.
“One key group in the community we want to reach is retired people: grandparents and 'silver surfers'.
“They often have the time to find out about important issues which affect them and their families. We hope to be able to offer them useful advice on internet safety so they can avoid any scams, but also so that they can advise their children, who in turn will protect their grandchildren.”
You can check out the website by clicking the link on the right.