Parents are being warned to keep check on their children’s online activity as it is revealed four in five young people are exposed to online hate.
The statistics come from the UK Safer Internet Centre, who are hosting a national Safer Internet Day today in a bid to improve children’s naivety when online.
Safer Internet Day is an opportunity for everyone to play their part for a better internet and many schools across Nottingham are holding dedicated days to provide advice on how to stay safe online.
Samantha Hancock, crime prevention officer at Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Parents need to be aware of what their children are actually using online.
“This doesn’t mean just what websites they are on but also what apps they are on as well.”
She added: “Children under 11 especially shouldn’t be left to use sites such as Facebook alone. It gives a platform for young people to not only talk to people they don’t know, but also to receive hate.
“Children also need to be aware that when they share things online, it is no longer in their control and what they share can be seen by people they don’t know.”
Ms Hancock will be hosting a live web-chat along with Detective Inspector Les Charlton from Nottinghamshire Police’s Digital Investigation Unit and available between 12 noon and 1pm tomorrow to answer any questions about internet safety.
Will Gardner, a director of the UK Safer Internet Centre and CEO of Childnet, said: “The volume and range of support we’ve seen for this year’s Safer Internet Day is truly inspiring.
“With activities taking place right across the UK and young people coming together to share their perspectives and ideas, Safer Internet Day is an opportunity for us all to stand together and show what kind of internet we want – where kindness is the norm and everyone is treated with respect.”
Pierrepont Gamston Primary School, in West Bridgford, are dedicating this week’s timetable around providing internet safety advice for their students.
Tom Howes, assistant headteacher, said: “E-safety forms a crucial part of the computing curriculum, equipping children with the skills to safely work online.
“We do this through teaching the specific skills required; applying them in computing lessons.
“We also inform parents and carers of what we teach, so that it bridges the gap between home and school.”
According to the school, these aspects will be particularly focused on during this week.
For more information on Safer Internet Day visit: www.saferinternet.org.uk