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Parental advice

From time to time the States of Jersey Police receive reports of cyber bullying and attempts of ‘grooming’ children online. 

Although such reports are rare, the fact that children could be potentially distressed or exploited while they are online is cause for concern.

There are many benefits to using the Internet however it is a worrying fact that the Internet is also used by people who do not have the best interests of children and teenagers at heart.

Being approached by a stranger online who poses as a friend can be distressing for the teenager or child and their families, and can lead to unwanted attention such as phone calls, sexual advances and offers to meet with the child or teenager.

For allegations of a criminal nature relating to the use of the Internet, the States of Jersey Police have a number of specially trained ‘Internet Investigation Officers’ that in addition to their work in the investigation of offences in Jersey and the collation of related intelligence, will also liaise with other jurisdictions and police forces worldwide in order to assist in the global fight against Internet Crime.

The States of Jersey Police would therefore encourage the reporting of any unusual activity in this area that may be concerning parents, teenagers and children alike.

Advice

In addition, the States of Jersey Police have worked with the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) based in the Home Office (London) to come up with the following guidelines for parents:

  • Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you any applications you have never used.
  • Keep your home computer in a family area rather than in your child’s room.
  • Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends. Personal information includes their messenger ID, an email address, a mobile phone number or any photos of themselves, their family or friends – if your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it.
  • If your child receives spam/junk emails and texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
  • It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain and at worst it could be an inappropriate image or film.
  • Help your child understand that some people lie online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
  • Always keep communication open with a child so they know they can tell you something if it makes them feel uncomfortable.
  • Teach your child how to block someone online and report them if it makes them feel uncomfortable. Advise them to save online chat logs if they feel they are not genuine or give them cause for concern.
  • Familiarise yourself with how to save ‘chat logs’ and other on-line communication that then may be used by the Police for their investigations.

ceop

CEOPs Think U Know website

  • Understand the terminology
  • Get practical advice and guidance
  • Download leaflets for future reference
  • Register to receive regular updates and tips
  • Report abuse

A new social media decoding dictionary, 'Top 50 Acronyms Parents Need To Know' has been launched for concerned parents. The dictionary translates acronyms popularly used by teens online, such as (ASL) age, sex, location and (CD9) Code 9 - parents around.

The importance of parents working with their children and taking an interest in their on-line activities cannot be over-estimated. This useful tool is another way in which parents can help educate themselves in this regard, an understanding that will undoubtedly help in this overall approach. Another good website, parentinfo.org offers a breakdown of general online teen speak and the NSPCC net-aware.org.uk also offers help in understanding all the sites, apps and games that kids use the most.

Get involved with your child from a young age, help set some boundaries and rules and try out the technology that your child is using. Ensure that you know how to use parental controls and that you have access to up-to-date software to help keep children safe on-line. Most importantly however, talk regularly with your child about their and your on-line lives. Show that you understand how important technology is to them and talk about its benefits, however don’t be nervous about things such as responsible online behaviour for example bullying.

Further information and advice can also be found at www.getsafeonline.org

 

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