Online safety is as important as ever with new technology and gadgets high on the wish list for many young people this Christmas.
The Essex Safeguarding Children Board (ESCB) is reminding parents and carers that if their child receives new technology gifts it’s important to set up devices correctly to keep them safe when online.
From 6-12 December the ESCB, along with partners, will be sharing information about online gaming, youth involved sexual images and online bullying.
This partnership campaign aims to challenge the perception that the victim is to blame; instead creating a supportive network around the child in which they feel able to speak openly about concerns they may have. Parents and carers should make sure their children know they can speak to them if they see something they are not comfortable with online.
Signs to look out for
The campaign will reinforce the signs to look out for. Traditional signs of exploitation are now blended with new ones. Things such as new trainers, more money, getting taxis everywhere are combined with signs including receiving online commodities – game currency and other gifts within games.
There will be new resources from Brook Essex, the sexual health and wellbeing charity, looking at how to support young people to have healthy relationships in a digital world and the importance of supporting them to understand the dangers that technology can present with relationships.
Concerns about child exploitation can be reported anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. There is also a dedicated Police Child Exploitation hotline – for parents, carers and members of the public to seek advice around concerns they may have about their own or other children with regards to criminal and sexual exploitation on 01245 452058.
The Essex Safeguarding Children Board website has resources for parents and carers as well as professionals to enable them to fully support children and parents. People can also follow the campaign:
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