Stay Safe Online

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Thursday January 8 2015

Police Scotland, launches a campaign to raise awareness about online safety for children. The Stay Safe Online campaign is to help children, parents, teachers and carers improve their knowledge and understanding of how to keep children safe while the are online.

Backed by radio adverts, Stay Safe Online will provide children with the information they need. “Digi Dan’s Top Tips” will be available on the website digidan.co.uk. The website includes a quiz for youngsters and there is a DigiDan's ibook to download and keep his online safety tips.

The campaign targets two age groups, the younger group, from 9-12 years old will receive ten top tips from a cartoon character, Digi Dan, who is an internet explorer and knows everything about staying safe online. Packs for youngsters including leaflets, posters, mousemats and water bottles will be distributed to schools across Scotland promoting Digi Dan and his website.

Older children will also receive advice about keeping safe online including tips on password security, social media posting, sexting, how to deal with inappropriate pictures and who to contact for help.

Chief Inspector William Cravens said: “Police Scotland is committed to building Safer Virtual Communities for everyone. We want to help children to enjoy the benefits of the Internet by being able to Stay Safe Online.

“All children and young people need to understand they should only share pictures online that they are happy with friends, family and others seeing. They also need to know how to keep their personal information private and to contact an adult if they feel threatened.

“Any child who feels risk or is worried should speak to a parent, guardian or teacher or can phone Police Scotland on 101 or Childline on 0800 1111.”

Stay Safe Online Digi Dan’s top tips for staying safe on the internet for 9-12 year olds:

Tip 1 - Keep your phone, laptops or tablet secure - use a password or PIN. 
Tip 2 - Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do face to face”
Tip 3 - Learn what is ok to post and share on the internet.  Comments, photos and videos you post or share are always recorded even if you delete it so it could be seen by someone in the future.
Tip 4 - Don’t talk to strangers or make friends with strangers on social media – you never know who they really are
Tip 5 - Never feel forced to do anything you don’t want to do
Tip 6 - Block people who send nasty messages and tell someone about it
Tip 7 - Also don’t send or make nasty comments about someone else online
Tip 8 - Don’t open links and attachments from people you don’t know
Tip 9 - Never arrange to meet someone you have on the internet
Tip 10 - Tell an adult or someone you trust – like a friend – if you feel frightened or worried about what’s happening to you online.
There is always someone who can help you.
Stay Safe Online tips and advice for 13-16 year olds:

Keep your phone, laptops or tablet secure - use a password or PIN.
Don’t do anything online that you wouldn’t do face to face
Think about what you post – would you be happy for people to still see it in 10 or 20 years. Comments, photos and videos you post or share, make up your digital footprint, even if you delete it so there is still a record of it.
Do you really know your online friends? Think about why and how you know people and if you are not friends in the real life you shouldn’t be online.
Never feel forced into doing anything you don’t want to do
Block people who send cruel or offensive messages and tell someone about it
Don’t open links and attachments from people you don’t know
Never arrange to meet someone you have only met on the internet
Sexting is never a good idea. Once images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere. Just think – if you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school or show your mum or dad, then don’t share by phone or other technologies.
If you receive an indecent image or naked selfie from someone, do not send this image onto others or respond with one of you – report it.
Always tell an adult you trust. For more information, please visit: Choices for Life; Thinkuknow; Childnet International; or Getsafeonline.
If you are upset or worried about an image you have sent or received, you can call;
Childline on 0800 1111 or Police Scotland on 101
There are lots of places you can go to get more information and advice.The more people who know the tips the safer we will all be. Most importantly - You need to know that you won’t be in trouble, whatever you have done, just tell someone you trust and they can help sort it out.

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