New devices come with parental responsibility
If your child gets a new device for Christmas - make sure they're safe.
Give them some guidance about using mobiles, tablets, game consoles and other internet-connected devices safely.
If your child is using social media, it's good to know what they get up to and who they're communicating with.
Unfortunately, there have been occasions where child grooming has taken place by an adult using social media. In these circumstances, children may be completely unaware that they are being groomed and it can go on undetected for some time. Whilst these incidents are rare, it's good to be aware of the signs.
- sit down and speak to your child about safe and responsible use of the internet, including what they say and who they communicate with
- make it your business to know what your child is up to online
- Don't allow them to be locked away in their room with their device
- Encourage them to be open and talk to you if possible
- Add parental control apps to the device where necessary
ONLINE GROOMING SIGNS
- Is your child wanting to spend more and more time on the internet?
- Is your child being secretive about who they're talking to online?
- Do they switch screens when you come near the computer?
- Do they possess items - electrical devices or phones - you don't know about it?
- Are they using sexual language you wouldn't expect them to use?
- Have they become emotionally volatile?
Detective Inspector Kevin Broadhead from Nottinghamshire Police's Sexual Exploitation Unit said: "Technology can be great and exciting and we know that youngsters want to get themselves online as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we see the darker side of the web and it's absolutely vital that parents make sure their children are protected from this. Please make sure that if your child has got a new device for Christmas, that you're aware of the risks this can involve."
Please visit: https://www.parentsprotect.co.uk/online_grooming.htm for more information and advice on how to protect your child.
You can also visit Get Safe Online: https://www.getsafeonline.org/
If you are concerned that online grooming is happening to your child or someone you know, please contact us on 101. In an emergency always dial 999.