Launch of “Safety Online – Countering Extremism” guide for parents and guardians

Posted on November 4, 2022

Councilor Danny Millard, Sandwell’s Cabinet Member for Communities, with his daughter Kadi, and Justin Nixon, Sandwell Council Prevent Education Officer (middle) launch the online safety guide.

As part of our Safer 6 campaign, a new guide for parents and guardians to raise awareness on how to keep children safe online and prevent them from being targeted by extremist content was launched.

The ‘Online Safety – Against Extremism’ brochure was developed by the Sandwell Council Prevent team.

The guide not only encourages parents and guardians to better understand how to keep children safe online in general, but also shows how easily they can be exposed to extremist content online.

Topics covered include information on different apps, games, social media platforms, message boards, fake news and clickbait, and how extremist influencers can use them to target and attract young people to their information, which is often linked to extremist content.

The booklet outlines recent research, statistics and issues to watch out for, as well as practical tips and actions to keep children and young people safe online using the NSPCC’s team approach:

T: Talk about online security;
E: Explore their online world together;
A: Agree rules on what is acceptable and what is not;
M: Manage your family’s settings and orders.

Councilor Danny Millard, Sandwell’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: ‘It’s really important that parents and guardians actively engage with their children and young people to keep them safe online.

“Some parents and guardians will have the skills and knowledge to do this, but some may not be so confident. This booklet is an extremely practical guide to help you start that conversation. »

The guide is currently available and also contains contact details for agencies – including the council’s Prevent team – which can provide additional information, support and training.

Members of the Prevent team will also be distributing copies of the guide at Sandwell Safer 6 events and pop-up booths over the coming weeks.

Learn more about the work of the Prevent team.

Further information:

Research from the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in 2020/21 shows:
• 1 in 3 young people have seen something worrying or unpleasant online;
• 1 child in 3 has been the victim of cyberbullying;
• Almost one in four children have encountered racist or hateful messages online
• In 2020/21, there were over 2,500 Childline advice sessions on online bullying.

Ofcom research in 2021 shows:
• Nearly 100% of children use video sharing platforms (VSPs) such as YouTube, with most using VSPs more during Covid-19 than before;
• Just over 50% of 12-15 year olds have had a negative online experience, mostly by having been contacted by someone they didn’t know who wanted to be their friend.

Ways to keep your child safe online:
• Limit your child’s time on the Internet and stick to it – consistency is key!
• Children should ask your permission before downloading apps. Observe age limits and supervise.
• Accounts are private and tracking is disabled.
• Report any issues via apps/websites.
• Set clear and consistent boundaries – work with your child.
• Enable parental control settings on all devices.
• Call the free NSPCC.02 helpline on 0808 800 5002 – to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or get advice on social media.

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