COVID – 19 PUSHES UP INTERNET USE 70%. This increase is not surprising as most of us are in lockdown and staying at home, while using the internet to stay connected.
With the increase of online use, there also comes an increase in predatory criminal activity online with trends that include:
- Increase of Scams - aimed at all generations and users.
- Increase of indecent images and sexting - which in turn cause more incidents of indecent images being shared or leaked maliciously.
- Increased risk of contact from strangers - for the younger online users.
- Too much screen time - for all of us but especially children and young people spending more hours online gaming and watching videos.
- Increase of anxiety and mental health issues - A lot of young people can find the effects of social media and the internet a negative experience, not just a positive one.
- A huge increase in young people accessing inappropriate adult websites – BE AWARE! The largest online porn provider has opened up all their premium content for free – for six weeks!
- Online reputation - increased conduct online could affect your digital footprint. Young people could share too much personal information and say and do things they might regret. Everything we do online does not go away and leave a digital footprint.
Tips for Parents/Carers
It is absolutely fine for you to talk to children and young people about how much time they are spending online and what they are doing. You can discuss some of these issues and make sure they know how to stay safe. It is also okay to talk to them about managing their screen time. You can discuss and agree on the amount of time they are on their devices and what content they are watching. Come up with some fun positive activities for when you are all off-line, so you can experience memorable quality time together.
Tips for young people
Here’s something young people should consider when going on line:
Over half the population of the world use the internet. That means 4.5 BILLION people worldwide, are active online. The average internet user spends 6.5 hours online every day! How many millions of people are you exposed to every time you go online? Most of the time when you are online, you are on your own, in your room and away from your parents. Remember, 99.9% of people you meet online are complete strangers. You have no idea who and what they are really like.
How would you feel if you went to a park and there were 4 million strangers there and you were standing on your own, without your parents? Actually, your parents would not let you go and you would feel very weary and frightened. You need to take this attitude when you are online. You do not know these people – absolutely anyone can contact you at any time, start talking to you and portray themselves in any way they like. These people are not always who they say they are and they will probably know a lot about you from your profile information.
So be safe, be smart; If you have never met them before – they are not your friends and you should not be sharing any personal information with them. Remember, NEVER EVER arrange to meet with them. If you are not sure or worried about an online issue or need some help, please contact our TARGET team.
The TARGET Project: Targeting And Reducing Grooming, Exploitation and Trading of children and young people online
Service Six’s TARGET project dedicated to keeping children and young people safe online, providing online protective behaviours and improving levels of well-being to reduce and prevent online sexual and criminal exploitation – please see our TARGET
project for more details.
Call our TARGET Helpline on: 07718 003219 lines open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm
Online Ollie App – Go to your App store and download for free
- providing comprehensive advice and guidelines on management of online use, for all ages
- offering online support and resources