Almost 60 per cent of the UK population, over 300m people, have a Facebook account and 15.5m UK people have Twitter accounts. The rise and rise of social networking sites and the increasing popularity of smartphones has made the internet more accessible than ever for people of all ages.
With more businesses and organisations engaging with residents, particularly hard to reach groups, social networks offer a fantastic platform for two way communications.
But are your children safe online? Who’s really looking at their profiles and are their online ‘friends’ really who they say they are? Are they a victim of cyber bullying, grooming or worse?
Many of us assume kids today, who have grown up surrounded by the internet and social media, understand how to be safe online. However a report released by the European Commission for the Digital Age suggests that while more and more children are using social media, their use isn’t always safe.
We’ve joined forces with North Yorkshire Police’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre trained youth officer, Paul Stephenson, to help you learn how you can help protect your children of the hidden dangers online.
Paul Stephenson is youth officer at North Yorkshire Police where he specialises in advising children and their parents about how to use the internet in a safe way. Following a 30 year career as a beat officer, he’s spent the last six years training with organisations such as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and ChildNet.com to become a child protection professional and certified CEOP ambassador. Each month he presents to thousands of children and parents at their schools or community groups.
Technology is increasingly a big part of everyday life. Thanks to mobile phones, smartphones and laptops, young people now have access to a wide range of opportunities. They use technology to express themselves, explore, and be creative; it has changed the way they communicate and, unfortunately, it’s also increased the potential dangers to which they are exposed - cyber bullying, sex offenders, attacks.
To help keep children safe against these dangers, Paul ensures he’s on top of all the latest social networking changes and updates to deliver up to the minute safety advice and tips for children, adults and professionals of all ages.
For further information or to make contact with Paul, please call Acceleris on 0845 4567 251 or email EmmaC@Acceleris-mc.com