#childsafety | NSPCC advice on child safety online during coronavirus lockdown


Childline
Childline
Everyone is facing new demands and the way children are being educated has changed dramatically. Many children are now spending more time online to complete virtual lessons, play games, keep in touch with their friends and take part in online P.E. sessions to keep active.

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.”

A message from the Editor, Gary Shipton:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well. With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers – and consequently the advertising that we receive – we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted – as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: “Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role.”

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news – not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

In addition, please write to your MP urging the Government to provide some additional financial support for local newspapers and their websites like this one and ensuring that supermarkets continue to stock them. I cannot stress enough how important such an intervention would be.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support – and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.



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