How to stay safe online during lockdown

13th May 2020

Children and young people are spending more time at home … and more time online during lockdown.

Norfolk Safeguarding Children Partnership (NSCP), which includes Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk County Council’s Children’s Services and Norfolk Children and Young People’s Health Services – is providing advice for young people, parents and carers about how to stay safe online during the coronavirus epidemic.

In light of COVID-19 and the closure of schools, children are spending more of their time on mobile phones, games consoles and other devices which can make them more vulnerable. We know that criminals will use the opportunity to contact more children and young people online.

We also know that children and young people are not just at risk of exploitation but also of having their accounts hacked and being bullied online.

We want children and young people to be able use devices for education, fun and to keep in contact with friends and family but in a safe way. As part of our wider safeguarding campaign we have compiled some advice, top tips and links to videos and websites that can help you which you can access here.

A downloadable poster is available for parents and carers here: Online Safety Poster for Parents & Carers and for children here: Online Safety Poster for Children & Young People

The partners will be sharing content across all social media channels under #YouAreNotAlone and #OnlineSafetyAtHome where you can also click on the content.

Chris Robson, independent chairman of the NSCP, said: “The majority of young people in Norfolk are likely to remain at home for some time due to current circumstances, spending more time online than usual for their learning, social interactions and leisure time.

“The internet is a great resource and we want young people to stay connected but sadly there are those out there who will be using this opportunity to target and exploit them. We want to help parents and carers to keep their children safe online and remind children and young people directly about what they need to stay safe.

“This part of our wide-ranging safeguarding campaign is drawing on the skills and expertise of all the organisations and agencies in our partnership.”

Detective Superintendent Andy Coller of Norfolk Police said: “We are acutely aware that families have untold pressures on them at the moment, and we want them to know that we are here to support them in any way we can.

“Children and young people spend a lot of their time online, even more so following the Coronavirus lockdown and it’s essential that parents know what they’re doing, the sites they’re visiting and who they’re talking to.

“We know that it isn’t easy but there are some simple steps parents and carers can take and together with our colleagues across Norfolk, we have put together some straightforward tips and advice. There’s also a wealth of trusted information and advice online that families can turn to and, in the event they need us, we ready and waiting to step in to help them.”

This latest move is the fourth phase of a wide-ranging campaign launched by the NSCP to keep children safe at home.

Earlier on in the campaign the partnership encouraged Norfolk’s children and young people to come forward if they needed help via a text service and phone helpline. The campaign has also appealed to the wider public to look out for Norfolk’s children and report any concerns through the See Something, Hear Something, Say Something campaign.

Backed by the Norfolk Resilience Forum, the campaign was launched after concerns were raised that following the schools’ closure, the majority of children and youngsters being unable to visit friends and extended family or go to their usual clubs, children and families were spending more time behind closed doors and isolated from those who might normally support them or spot if they were struggling to cope.

Families can find more information, support and advice at:

The National Crime Agency’s website also includes advice about online safety and activity packs for children aged four and over. Visit here: www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/Support-tools/home-activity-worksheets/

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