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‘Online Safety – Against Extremism' Guide Launched for Parents and Carers | Sandwell Council

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‘Online Safety – Against Extremism' Guide Launched for Parents and Carers

Published 4th November 2022

Online safety guide launch
Councillor Danny Millard, Sandwell’s cabinet member for communities, with daughter Kadi, and Justin Nixon, Sandwell Council Prevent Education Officer (middle) launching the online safety guide.

A new guide for parents and carers to raise awareness of how to keep children safe online and prevent them being targeted by extremist material has been launched as part of our Safer 6 campaign.

The ‘Online Safety -  Against Extremism’ booklet has been devised by Sandwell Council’s Prevent team.

The guide encourages parents and carers not only to increase their awareness of how to keep children safe online in general, but also shows how easily they can be exposed to extremist material online as well.

Topics covered include information about the different apps, games, social media platforms,  message boards, fake news and clickbait, and  how extremist influencers can use these to target and attract young people to their information, which often then links to extremist content.
The booklet outlines recent research, statistics and issues to look out for, along with practical tips and actions to keep children and young people safe online using the NSPCC’s Team approach:
T: Talk about staying safe online;
E: Explore their online world together;
A: Agree rules about what is okay and what is not;
M: Manage your family’s settings and controls.
Councillor Danny Millard, Sandwell’s cabinet member for communities, said: “It is really important that parents and carers are actively engaging with their children, and young people about keeping safe online.
“Some parents and carers will have the skills and knowledge to do this, however some may not be as confident. This booklet is an extremely handy ‘go to’ guide for helping with this and starting that conversation.”
The guide is currently available and also contains contact details of agencies – including the council’s Prevent team – that can provide further information and support, and training.
Members of the Prevent team will also be handing out copies of the guide at Sandwell Safer 6 events and pop up stalls during the coming weeks.
Find out more information about the work of the Prevent team.
Additional information:
Research  from the National Society for the Prevent of Cruelty to Children during 2020/21 shows:
•    1 in 3 young people have seen something worrying or nasty online;
•    1 in 3 children have been a victim of cyberbullying;
•    Almost 1 in 4 children have come across racist or hate messages online
•    In 2020/21, there were more than 2,500 Childline counselling sessions abut online bullying.
Research from Ofcom during 2021 shows:
•    Almost 100% of children use video-sharing platforms (VSPs) such as YouTube, with most using VSPs more during Covid-19 than before;
•    Just over 50% of 12-15s had some form of negative online experience, mostly, being contacted by someone they didn’t know who wanted to be their friend.
Ways to keep your child safe online:
•    Limit your child’s time on the internet and stick to it – consistency is the key!
•    Children to seek permission from you before downloading any apps. Stick to age limits and monitor.
•    Accounts are private, and location is turned off.
•    Report any issues through the apps/websites.
•    Set clear and consistent boundaries – work with your child.
•    Turn on parental control settings on all devices.
•    Call free NSPCC.02 helpline 0808 800 5002 – to set up parental controls, adjust privacy settings or to get advice about social networks.