Talking is the key to safety

Parents talking to kids is the key to e-safety. SG220915-136TW
Parents talking to kids is the key to e-safety. SG220915-136TW
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Parents talking to their children is the key to keeping them safe on the Internet, according to the woman who heads children’s services county-wide.

Executive county councillor Patricia Bradwell said: “We have all heard cases in the media of manipulative adults using the Internet to befriend youngsters, or tragic incidents of cyber-bullying.

“We also need to be careful what electronic games our young people play, ensuring they are appropriate for their ages.

“The most important thing in all this is to talk to your children about what they are doing – and then keep that dialogue going. It’s all about trying to strike the right balance between letting them enjoy themselves and helping them stay safe.”

Dan Hawbrook, e-safety officer for Lincolnshire Safeguarding Children Board, said advice for parents is available from the police-run Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.

Its top tips for parents include:

• Ask your children to show you the sites they use

• Ask your children to set their profile settings to private on social networking sites such as Facebook

• Ask your child about their online friends

• Set appropriate parental controls on your child’s computer, mobile and games console

• Encourage your child to let you know if they are worried about something online

Mr Hawbrook said: “We do a lot of work in schools talking to children about a range of online issues and also online bullying. We also help to train teachers and nurses to talk to children on e-safety and PCSOs also help to advise children about how to stay safe.”

• More information is available at sites such as www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents