Member of Parliament for Delyn, Rob Roberts, has launched a new campaign focused around keeping young people safe when they are online. This campaign aims to provide both awareness and advice to parents and also children within his constituency on how to ensure that online platforms are used in a safe and secure way.
Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, all of us, including young people, have been spending increasing amounts of time online, whether that be via video calling or messaging family and friends, watching television, playing online games, or even having virtual school lessons during lockdown. Most of the time online platforms can be helpful, enjoyable and a fantastic way to socialise, however, sadly there is a lot of inappropriate and potentially harmful content online that is not suitable for younger users.
The Keeping Children Safe Online webpage provides key information regarding what the risks to young people are when going using social media, online gaming, and even when using on-demand streaming services by providing tailored information for both younger children in the 5-11 age range, and for older children in the 12-18 age range. The webpage also provides advice on how to mitigate the potential risks to children when going online and details the support services that are available to both children and parents.
Commenting on the launch of his campaign to Keep Children Safe Online, Rob said:
“In Wales 63% of parents are worried that their child will be bullied online, whilst 65% are worried that their child may see content online that encourages to hurt or harm themselves. Bullying or trolling, harmful or age-inappropriate content and receiving private messages from strangers are among the top concerns for parents whose children use online platforms regularly. The NSPCC estimates that there are 90 cybercrimes recorded a day against children, with online grooming, scams and bullying being the main threats.
Law enforcement agencies in the UK are currently arresting around 450 individuals and safeguarding over 600 children each month through their efforts to combat online CSE. As a parent myself, I recognise just how vital it is that both parents and young people alike are aware of the risks of going online so that the they can be avoided.”
If you have concerns about the content your child sees online, you should report any illegal, explicit or distressing content to CEOP through their website, and you can learn how to block any distressing inappropriate or upsetting content through the Net Aware website.
Action for Children provide an advice site for parents, whilst Childline are available on 0800 1111 to give advice and support for young people.