When working and interacting online, it's important that you take steps to ensure your safety at all times.
While the internet is a hugely useful tool, it can also be a dangerous one in the wrong hands.
That's why you should always be sensible online and always stay alert to suspicious activity. Sometimes people may try to trick you into clicking dangerous links, or sharing things about yourself. They may be able to use this information to bully or frighten you.
You should always be aware of the way people are using social media too. Predators and other groups, including terrorist cells, use social media as a means to communicate and influence a person's behaviour.
On their website, Durham Police gives the following guidance for staying safe online:
- Keep safe by not giving out personal information
- Avoid meeting up with someone you have only met online. Someone online may be lying to you about who they are and it can be difficult to know whether they have foul intentions
- However, if you do decide to meet with someone you have only met online, always inform someone of where you are going and always take a friend/family member with you. Always meet up in a very public place
- Be careful when accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust as it can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or offensive messages!
- Websites aren’t always what they seem - be careful what you click on, just like individuals can lie online, some organisations and companies can also mislead you.
- You can report online abuse to the police at CEOP or by using the police non-emergency number 101
Supporting You at East Durham College
At EDC, our priority, always, is the safety of our students. This extends far and beyond the walls of college; we want you to be safe at all times, and that includes being safe online.
This support extends beyond students. East Durham College is also on-hand to support parents on educating and informing them on what their children are accessing online.
Any member of staff, be it your lecturer, progression coach, or anyone else, will listen to you if you have any concerns whatsoever about anything online. Don't be silent - if you see something, or are concerned about something, say it and we can take steps to protect you and others from harm.
Kayleigh's Love Story
Kayleigh’s Love Story is a film about aspects of the last 13 days of the life of 15-year-old Kayleigh Haywood. The Leicestershire schoolgirl was groomed online by Luke Harlow, a man she had never met, before being raped and murdered by his next door neighbour Stephen Beadman. The film has been made to serve as a warning to children and adults of the dangers of grooming and sexual exploitation following Kayleigh’s tragic death in November 2015.
If you'd like more information on online safety, please visit some of the links below for more details.
CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) Command - https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/
The CEOP is focused on preventing online sexual abuse and the way people communicate online. The link above includes several useful sections where you can make a report if you have a concern, and further details on how the CEOP can help you.
ThinkUKnow - https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/14_plus/
ThinkUKnow support teenagers who are exploring relationships for the first time. This free tool gives you resources and information on safe sex, relationships and the internet, as well as support for you if you're worried about yourself or your friends.
Victim Support - www.victimsupport.org.uk for support for all types of crime
In addition to NetAware, the NSPCC have a wealth of information on their main website on keeping children safe.
A large part of this relates to online safety, covering a vast array of topics from general safety, sharing too much information, and parental controls to specific articles on topics such as Pokemon Go, Minecraft, adult websites, and sexting.
Away from e-safety, the website also provides guidance on many other topics, including drug abuse, self harm, healthy behaviour, keeping children safe inside and outside of the home, and how to talk about difficult topics with children.
ParentZone - parentzone.org.uk/advice/parent-guides
From internet safety magazines and online training, to parent guides on the latest digital trends and platforms, you can find advice and support here.
Parent Zone offer information and support in understanding the digital world, to help raise resilient children. Their services include Parent Info, Vodafone Digital Parenting magazine and the Parent Lounge, which gives access to our Parenting in the Digital Age training course.