Today is Safer Internet Day, a day to bring awareness of scams and dangers on the internet to as wide an audience as possible.
Many of us will have received at some time an email advising that we are entitled to an income tax rebate or a vehicle tax refund. HMRC and DVLA will never notify you by email or text if you are due a refund, they will always use the post. If you receive any emails supposedly from these agencies, then just delete them. Don’t open them and certainly don’t click any links.
The same goes for any other emails you receive from your bank, paypal, ebay etc. Never click links and if you think it may be genuine, contact them yourself separately to make sure.
The more insidious side to the internet is of course the grooming and blackmail of young people by predators. I would advise all parents to watch the video currently available from Leicestershire Police called Kayleigh’s Love Story (if in a cinema, it would have a 15 rating). This short film shows just how easily our children can be manipulated by someone with malicious intentions.
When primary school children are sending naked selfies, it is time for us as parents to take a stand. Check privacy settings, disable webcams and keep an eye on the sites your child is visiting and who they are speaking to on these sites.
The internet is a great source of information, unfortunately it is also a great source of disinformation. There are many who hide behind the anonymity a computer gives them, making it very difficult for anyone to know whether it is a 14yr old girl or a 55yr old man operating the keyboard.
For more information on how to keep yourself and your family safe online why not check out www.thinkuknow.co.uk for helpful information for adults and young people.
Have a good Safer Internet Day