Parents in Cheshire urged to ensure their children are safe online this summer Date published: 19th June 2017 12.19pm

Parents across the county are being urged to ensure their children are safe online as the summer holidays soon get underway.

As youngsters spend more time using the internet in particular during the holidays, officers have some top tips for parents to help protect their children whilst using the web.

By following some simple online safety advice, parents can help protect their children from increasingly common issues such as accessing inappropriate content, becoming a victim of online bullying and potentially sharing too much personal information.

• Talk regularly with your child about their and your online lives. Show you understand how important technology is to them and talk about its benefits. Don’t be nervous about raising things like responsible behaviour, bullying and adult content.

• Use parental controls on computers, mobile devices and games consoles, privacy features on social networking sites and the safety options on Google and other search engines.

• Be aware of any changes in behaviour or moods, as it may be a sign that your child is being bullied, harassed or groomed online.

• Social networking and picture sharing sites have lower age limits: find out what they are and make sure your child isn’t using age inappropriate networks and apps.

Detective Sergeant Brian Faint, of Cheshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “With children soon breaking up for the summer holidays, I know how busy parents will be keeping them entertained and making sure they are kept safe on their digital devices.”

“Understandably there are so many things parents have to think about but I can’t stress enough how important it is to check children are using the internet safely and securely. Youngsters already spend a lot of their time online and during the holidays this will increase and could become a big part of their daily routine engaging with potentially differing audiences through their digital devices.

“If parents take the time to follow some of the online safety advice it can make a big difference in protecting them from any harm.”

For more information and safety tips visit www.getsafeonline.org/switchedonparent and to report a crime call Cheshire Police on 101.