Get Safe Online launches new online safety hotline for parents09/09/2013
Recent events have made online safety for children more important than ever, but when parents feel less technically savvy than their kids it can be difficult for parents to manage online risks and
To help parents stay up to date, non-profit awareness organisation Get Safe Online has partnered with Norton by Symantec, the Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network and CEOP to launch its ‘Switched On’ campaign, which enables parents to be able to sign up to monthly newsletter emails and download guides from www.getsafeonline.org.
These will provide a wealth of information such as the new online channels that kids are using, the different kinds of technology available for kids, as well as the latest safety issues, relevant organisations and the appropriate steps of how to keep children of all ages safe.
Ofcom research reveals that 63% of parents of 12- 15 year olds feel their kids know more about the internet than they do and parents are more concerned about their child downloading a virus (23%) than they are about the contact their child might be having with people online (19%). This comes at a time when 30% of children aged 8 - 15 with a profile on Facebook, Ask.fm and other social media sites have their profiles set so that friends of friends or anyone can see them.
Get Safe Online is also launching the ‘Switched-On Hotline’ throughout September for parents to ring up experts from Norton by Symantec to speak about any online safety issues that are worrying them, including advice on parental control software. Sometimes it can be difficult for parents to monitor what children are doing online and research shows that while 39% of parents of 12-15s use the history function to see which websites their child has visited, 42% of children aged 12 -15 said they know how to delete website histories and 19% of 12-15s have actually deleted website histories in the last year.
Tony Neate, Chief Executive of Get Safe Online comments:
“Children of today are part of a digital generation, they just do not know any different than to use technology and the internet. However, whilst it may be second nature, it’s important that young people understand the risks and the boundaries they should observe. Like learning to ride a bike, or crossing the road, the most effective way to educate children is to start early and empower them to take responsibility for their own safety.
“We launched the ‘Switched On’ campaign to help give parents the confidence needed to be able to teach their children about online safety and monitor them more closely. Recent events have made it more important than ever that children are aware of online risks, so we urge parents to sign up to our updates and make use of the hotline we have put in place throughout the month.”
Dr Emma Bond, Deputy Director, Institute for Social, Educational and Enterprise Development at UCS:
“It is essential that parents are able to talk to their children about what they are doing online. Recent tragic events have highlighted how online behaviours can have serious offline consequences. Too often parents are unaware what their children are doing online, do not understand social media or do not know how to talk them about it.
"It is difficult for parents to keep up to date with the latest technology trends. The 'Switched On' Campaign will give parents the opportunity to access information and advice in an understandable way which give parents the confidence to talk to their children and help them keep themselves safe online."
Emma Jeffs, Norton Internet safety advocate:
“We are pleased to be working with Get Safe Online to offer parents an easily accessible set of tools to help them keep their children safe online. By calling the hotline that Norton by Symantec is providing throughout September, parents can ask questions about parental controls and receive guidance about what areas of online activity they should be aware of.”
Top Tips for how parents can keep their children safe online:
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP is here to help young people (up to age 18) who have been forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity with anyone online or in the real world. For information, advice and to report concerns directly to CEOP, visit the Safety Centre www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre.
The Get Safe Online website also provides parents with signposted links to wider organisations who can help with issues related to child internet safety including UKCCIS, Childnet, Beat Bullying and Parentport.
The ‘Switched On’ hotline will run from 9am-9pm seven days a week throughout September on 0207 744 0022. Get Safe Online is also giving away 100 copies of Norton Internet Security, which includes the free web monitoring and blocking software, Norton Family on its Twitter Feed. Follow @GetSafeOnline for more information on how to win one.
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