Community Messaging: PCC warns of online dangers facing young people

West Mercia Police’s Community Messaging feed has issued a warning about the online dangers facing young people, which are growing as social distancing measures cause them to spend less time outside and more time online.

PCC John Campion urges parents to be wary of the online dangers.

PCC warns of online dangers facing young people

With young people now spending less time outside and more time inside relying on social media to keep in touch with their friends, PCC John Campion is calling on parents to be wary of the online dangers.

With the national lockdown in place, children and young people are likely to find they have more time on their hands. They may try and fill it by going online which increases the likelihood of them coming across inappropriate content, being exposed to abuse or scams. An increased use of social media, in order to keep in touch with their friends or keep up-to-date with the latest trends, may expose them to those looking to exploit young people.

Get Safe Online, which is supported by the PCC, features key information for parents to ensure children and young people’s safety is a priority when it comes to internet and social media use. It covers off subjects such as gaming, sexting, cyber-bullying and privacy.

PCC John Campion said: “Some parents may be feeling much more relaxed knowing that their child/children are at home, however it’s important that we don’t forget that with that comes other risks. There are many things we can be doing in order to protect our young people, such as putting parental controls or restrictions in place, but it’s also so important to talk and ask the questions around what they’re doing and who they are speaking with.

“Cyber criminals are exploiting the crisis, so I would encourage all parents to be vigilant and if you are concerned about something your child has found, or have become involved in, then please report it to the police.”

More information can be found here: https://www.getsafeonline.org/safeguarding-children/

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