Online Safety

Many of us conduct our lives online these days, whether it's speaking to friends on social networking sites or posting our latest thoughts on Twitter. While there's nothing wrong with this there can be risks - and particularly for children and young people.

The internet is such an integral part of children's lives. It opens so many educational and social opportunities, giving them access to a world of information and experiences.

As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe whatever they are doing. Online safety skills are skills for life; if your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so.

Some tips on internet safety:

Please be aware that it is not just young people who are at risk on the internet. If you have a social networking account, take a fresh look at it from the point of view of someone intent on identity theft.

Such crimes are on the increase and many of us are very casual about the information we share and who we share it with. What information are you giving? You should only post information on these sites that you would be happy to give a stranger at a bus stop.

On your home computer, do you update your anti-virus software and malware software regularly to protect yourself against malicious software? Do you change online passwords on a regular basis? In the comfort of our homes, it is all too easy for us to become complacent and to leave our guards down.