North Yorkshire Police is joining the campaign to support the 11th International Safer Internet Day, taking place on Tuesday 11 February 2014.
This year’s theme covers the responsibility everyone has in making the internet a safer and better place. For young people, Safer Internet Day is a chance to celebrate being kind and creative online, while educators, parents and guardians can help to empower young people to embrace the positive by equipping them with the digital literacy skills they require for today’s world.
Online dangers range from bullying, inappropriate sharing of photos and videos, online scams, spreading of malware and viruses, through to hacking and denial of service attacks.
Many of these issues are due to poor internet safety awareness, resulting in access codes, passwords, personal details and more being inadvertently shared.
Police officers and Police Community Support Officers are supporting Safer Internet Day, with schools visits to educate students, raising awareness of how they make sure that they stay safe online.
Throughout the day, a Facebook question and answer session will take place to help raise awareness of how to use social media safely. To take part in the session please visit facebook.com/NorthYorkshirePolice
Social media will be used to support Safer Internet Day, with tips and advice issued to North Yorkshire Police’s 23,000 followers on Twitter and 26,000 fans on Facebook. Officers will be using the popular video sharing app Vine to issue short “six second security” internet safety messages at six o’clock every day, with the hashtag #SixSecondSecurity, starting on Monday 10 February.
North Yorkshire Police will also mark Safer Internet Day with the launch of an innovative new web app to help people protect their mobile devices. PhoneSecure provides personalised security advice for a wide range of smartphones and tablets.
To open the app, visit phonesecure.nyp.mobi from any phone or tablet, or pick up a free app card from a local police station.
Following Safer Internet Day, North Yorkshire Police Headquarters, Newby Wiske, will host an e-safety event on Wednesday 12 February 2014.
The event is intended to bring young people together with senior, key decision makers to influence service and policy concerning the issue of e-safety across North Yorkshire.
They will pitch ideas around internet safety to a panel of decision makers made up of directors and senior managers from children’s services, education, health, the voluntary sector and local councillors. At the end of the workshops, action points will be agreed and participants will be encouraged to complete an individual pledge card.
The day has been organised in partnership with North Yorkshire Police’s MAPPA unit, the NSPCC, Childline, youth and children’s services, North Yorkshire County Council and North Yorkshire Local Safeguarding Children’s Board.
Assistant Chief Constable Paul Kennedy, of North Yorkshire Police, said: The internet is a key part of the everyday life of children and young people across the country. However, they can sometimes put themselves at risk as they are not always aware of the dangers of the information they give out.
We all need to work together and take the responsibility to ensure that children and young people are safe when online.
I encourage parents and guardians to take some time to look at the resources that are available before sitting down with their children to discuss how they keep themselves safe and know that there is somewhere to turn if anything worries them.
Police officers and Police Community Support Officers are also visiting schools to speak with young people about making sure they don’t give any information out that could cause them issues.
Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker holds the portfolio for Cybercrime for North Yorkshire Police.
DCI Walker said: It is vitally important that we all ensure that the online environment is as safe as possible for young people and children, so that it is a positive and engaging place to visit.
As well as the safety aspect, young people will also be reminded about treating each other with the same respect in the online world as they would in the real world, and not use the environment to engage in cyber bullying and ensuring they know where to turn if they do have any issues.
Safer Internet Day is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre and takes place in February each year to promote the safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones for children and young people.