The internet has become an integral part of our world. Social media has been a major factor in the increase with websites such as Facebook and Twitter becoming part of everyday life.
Whether on a computer at school or at home, a games console or a mobile phone, children are accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are. Talk to your children about what they do on the internet and get them to show you some of their favourite sites. This ease of use and availability means there is an increased risk of online vulnerability.
If you and your child understand the risks you can get the most from the internet and stay safe. Chatrooms can be used by paedophiles to meet children and often the child thinks they are the same age. They can also ‘groom’ children to become victims, either psychologically on the internet itself, or by arranging to actually meet with them, gain their trust and abuse them. Make sure your child does not give away any personal details. Paedophiles can also make chatroom friendships with parents to gain their trust and meet children.
Local police in Sutton have a team trained to counter these forms of exploitation. They have strong links with schools to offer support to children and parents. Contact Sutton police on non-emergency number 101 if you have any concerns.
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