During the first lockdown, online crimes against children in the UK increased, some examples of which include:
- 1,220 online grooming offences against children recorded in just 3 months of lockdown
- Over 10,000 online child sex crimes recorded by police in a year
- Nearly nine million attempts to access child sexual abuse websites in the space of one month
Now that children are once again staying at home and using the internet for homeschooling and keeping in touch with their friends, we need to ensure that they are safer online than they were during the previous lockdowns.
1. Teach children about online threats they face
Educating children about e-safety is by far one of the most effective ways to keep them safe. Ensuring they know what to look out for and why they should care about e-safety will keep them safe from online predators even if technology-based safety features fail.
2. Create rules for sharing information online
There are a number of reasons strangers may try to gain personal information from your child – either to commit identity fraud, to further phishing scams or to physically target the child at school or home. By creating rules about what your children are and aren’t allowed to share online you can keep them safe from strangers who wish to exploit them.
3. Use tools to keep everyone safe
There are a number of e-safety tools that children can use to keep them safe from harmful websites and scammers looking to steal personal information. These include things like Google Safe Search (which filters out inappropriate content from web results) and multi-factor authentication (which requires a secondary security measure before allowing a user to log into online accounts).
Parental controls & tracking apps
If your goal is to more strictly monitor your child’s activity or screen time, parental controls and tracking apps might be the solution you need – however one of the key flaws of these types of apps is that they rely on you spotting the danger yourself and can therefore be worked-around quite easily.
4. Don’t talk to strangers
One of the simplest pieces of advice you can give a child in a communal space – physical or virtual- is to not talk to strangers. It is also worth teaching them how to spot when a predator is using a fake profileto pose as a friend. By only talking to people they know, children can reduce the risks they’re exposed to online.
5. Join the CAP Certified Beta
All parents & schools joining beta get CAP for free for a year
Ultimately, many online safety tips are designed to keep children from talking to scammers, predators or cyberbullies posing as someone else. The CAP Certified platform uses data from local authorities to verify the identity of each child and create a safe space where children can only talk to other verified children and users across social media and gaming platforms, making sure children do not cross paths with groomers and predators.
To find out more about CAP Certified or to join our beta programme, get in touch using the forms below.