Internet users are being reminded of the importance of staying safe online ahead of Safer Internet Day with officers also hosting a live web chat this Friday to discuss the importance of internet safety.
The annual campaign, now in its’ eleventh year, is celebrated in over 65 countries, and recognises the importance of the internet, how to get the most out of it and how to use it safely and responsibly.
The theme for Safer Internet Day 2014 is ‘Let’s create a better internet together’, emphasising the responsibility all users have in making the internet a better place.
In support of Internet Safety Day, Lancashire Constabulary’s Public Protection Unit has joined forces with Lancashire Safeguarding Children’s Board, Lancashire County Council and Lancashire Young Peoples Service. As part of this, officers will be going into schools to deliver talks to pupils, and a joint-agency live web chat will be held on Friday February 14, between 11.35am–1pm on Lancashire Constabulary’s young persons’ website, Trust Ed.
The web chat will be hosted at www.trusted2know.co.uk/web-chat, and this will be an opportunity for schools to ask direct questions to officers and agency partners about their e-safety concerns, the different types of online crimes that exist, and steps they can take to stay safe online.
Det Supt Ian Critchley, Lancashire Constabulary’s Head of Public Protection, said: “The internet is a big part of daily life, and we would encourage people to use it and enjoy it, but do so safely. This includes using different passwords for different sites and using secure sites that you know you can trust.
“It is also important to remember that people you meet online may not be who they claim to be. Keep your personal information safe, and don’t share details, such as your address or date of birth, and certainly don’t arrange to meet someone you have only ever met online.
“Unfortunately, we have seen over recent years that the internet has become an ever-increasing method by which offenders seek to meet, groom and then sexually exploit young people.
“It is our aim to prevent grooming through education, and through working with partners on campaigns, such as Safer Internet Day. This is because grooming which leads to child abuse can have a lifetime impact on the victim, sometimes with dire consequences.
“Therefore, when grooming does occur, we want victims, and their families or carers to feel confident in coming forward, as we will always seek to bring these predatory offenders to justice.”
Visit www.trusted2know.co.uk or www.lancashire.police.uk.