Lancashire Constabulary is reminding internet users of the importance of staying safe online ahead of Safer Internet Day tomorrow (Tuesday 5th February).
It is the tenth year of the annual campaign, which is celebrated in over 65 countries to recognise the importance of the internet, how to get the most out of it and how to use it safely and responsibly.
This year’s theme is ‘Online rights and responsibilities’ and aims to promote the message ‘Connect with Respect’.
Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit has joined forces with Lancashire Safeguarding Children’s Board, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Young Peoples Service for the campaign. To mark the event, each day, a series of themed online safety messages will be posted onto the Constabulary’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/lancspolice and on Twitter @lancspolice.
Detective Superintendant Ian Critchley, Head of Public Protection, said: “For many people, the internet has become a big part of daily life and we would encourage people to use it and enjoy it but to do so safely. This includes using different passwords for different sites and using secure sites that you know you can trust.
“It’s important to remember that people you meet online may not be who they claim to be. Keep your personal information safe and don’t share details such as your address or date of birth and certainly don’t arrange to meet someone you have only ever met online.
“Unfortunately we have seen over recent years that the internet has become an ever increasing method by which offenders seek to meet, groom and then sexually exploit young people. As such we would also ask all parents, carers and teachers to ask ‘do you know what your child is doing on the internet and who they are talking to?’”
This year, the UK Safer Internet Centre is giving children and young people the opportunity to share their views about their online rights. Schools and those working with young people across the UK are being asked to help the UK Safer Internet Centre by encouraging children and young people to complete the Have your Say survey which can be found online at www.saferinternet.org.uk/survey.
• Advice for children of all ages, parents and teachers is available at www.thinkuknow.co.uk or via www.ceop.police.uk. Further safety tips can be found on www.lancashire.police.uk and information about Safer Internet Day is available at www.saferinternet.org.