Although the internet can be a positive platform for children, the risks that the online world poses are now greater than ever.
With tech firms scaling back on moderators who combat sexual abuse, offenders are seeing an unprecedented opportunity to target children online.
Margaret Gallagher, NSPCC service head of local campaigns said: “At the NSPCC, we think that it is vital that, despite the lockdown, tech providers ensure child safety remains of paramount importance.
“This is why we are calling on firms to set out how they are prioritising child protection and share with government the volumes of referrals they make during this period to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in order to track and identify child abuse risks.
“As we know, the online world is ever changing and given the current situation we are in you may be concerned or feel you do not understand what your child is doing online.
“We encourage all parents to talk with their children about what they are doing on the internet and reassure them that they can come to you with any worries.
“To help you get a greater understanding about the online world you can also visit Net Aware. This is a website we have designed in partnership with O2 where you can learn about the latest apps, sites and games your children are using. It can also help you understand how to minimise the potential risks and ensure that online resources can be an important, and safe, part of coping with the implications of social distancing.
“Despite the pandemic, we are still working hard to ensure we are here to support children. With schools closed and when home isn’t a safe space for every child, many children have nowhere to turn and they need our Childline counsellors more than ever before.
“Although we have changed fast to make sure children still have somewhere to turn, we don’t know what challenges will come next.”
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