Safety-conscious parents in North Walsham urged to add their children on Facebook - but would you accept a Friends’ request from your mum or dad?

NWHS network manager Gary O’Connor and PCSO James Harding with the Internet Safety Guide. Picture: A

NWHS network manager Gary O’Connor and PCSO James Harding with the Internet Safety Guide. Picture: ANDY NEWMAN. - Credit: ANDY NEWMAN.

Advice about avoiding online grooming and tips on how to tackle cyber-bullying are included in a guide to the internet being handed out to parents in north Norfolk to help keep their children safe online.

North Walsham High School has relaunched its acclaimed Internet Safety Guide – an updated version of the document which has been used by schools across the county - as part of a project to educate young people and their parents to the potential dangers on the world wide web.

First published in 2013, the 24-page guide contains a range of information and advice from various sources, including The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), Childline and the NSPCC, as well as members of the school's own IT team.

The guide, which also includes a list of 60 texting slang terms used by teens and what they mean, is available to download free on the school's website - already receive regular sessions on staying safe online, from teachers, school technical staff and from the police.

Speaking at the launch of the new guide, school network manager Gary O'Connor said: 'Technology is changing all the time, and it can be difficult for parents to keep up with that – it's easy to feel that children are always one step ahead. But parents can and must take responsibility for keeping their children safe online, because children themselves are not always aware of the dangers.

'Although 13 is the minimum age to use Facebook, research shows that half of all nine to 12 year-olds have Facebook accounts. It is really important to ensure that privacy settings are locked down, and that young people understand the consequences of posting material online.

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'There are simple things that parents can do to minimise the risks, such as knowing their children's passwords, being friends with their children on Facebook, and banning mobile phones and other devices from their bedrooms. The most important thing is to sit down and talk with young people about the dangers – you may be surprised at how much they open up in return if you do this.'

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