Staying Safe Online

Being Online: the Voice of Merton Young People

For most young people the online environment is a positive space which provides young people with a wealth of information and opportunities for connection across the world.  Young people have told us that the benefits of being online are:

  • Access to a wide range of knowledge and information which promote independent learning and personal development
  • Access to a wealth of resources for study, travel and connection with others
  • The ability to speak to family and friends anywhere in the world

Young people have also shared some of their worries and concerns:

  • The freedom can be worrying and they want help with setting boundaries
  • They are worried about being exposed to worrying things like porn, violent extremism
  • The are worried about harassment and bullying online
  • They are worried about predators and people who want to harm children and young people
  • They are worried about scams and fraudulent adverts
  • They are worried that parents/carers and other adults are not as aware about the online world and struggle to give good guidance and advice or protect young people from the risks

Young people want:

  • Clear information and guidance especially on building a good online reputation and digital foot print
  • Information about risks and dangers of being online.
  • People (including young people) who are online to be ‘good neighbours’ and be respectful even when angry and disagreeing with others
  • They want people to be aware of and stick to age restrictions which means that children and young people are able to access the right apps, at the right time (in terms of their age) when young people are ready.
  • Protection from predators and those who would want to harm or exploit children and young people
  • Children must be at least 13 to register on most social networking websites. But there’s not a lot standing in the way of children joining at a younger age.[1]

The MSCB supports Zip It, Block It, Flag It – the Click Clever, Click Safe Code

Launched in 2010 for Safer Internet Day, the code features three simple and memorable actions to remember.

  • ZIP IT means keeping their personal stuff private and thinking about what they say or do online.
  • BLOCK IT reminds them to block people who send them nasty messages and not to open any links and attachments they receive by email or through social networks if they’re not 100 per cent sure they’re safe.
  • FLAG IT is the final piece of advice. It stands for flagging up to a parent, guardian, teacher or someone in authority anything that upsets them while they are online or if someone asks them to meet up in the real world.

Links

Online safety NSPCC website

CEOP Internet Safety

Has something happened online that has made you feel worried or unsafe? Make a report to one of CEOP’s Child Protection Advisors.

Childline – Information and advice on online safety

If you are not ready to make a report to CEOP you can speak to Childline anonymously. Call 0800 1111

Childnet

Through Childnet you will find top tips, competitions, blogs and advice to help you to use the internet safely, responsibly and positively. Separate areas for primary and secondary aged children.

Disrespect Nobody Sexting Information

Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video. To find out more and get advice and support visit Disrespect Nobody

Think U Know

For information on how to stay safe online through the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it.

[1] The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in May 2018. Initially this will raise the minimum age to 16 and means that if an organisation seeks consent to process young peoples personal data, then parental consent must be obtained. See https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/data-protection-reform/overview-of-the-gdpr/