When news happens get involved. Send your pictures, views and video to us by text and email
Mum’s warning on perils of internet
MORE than a million people are expected to have seen a photo posted on Facebook by a Portland mum to warn her children of the dangers of social media.
Rachel Day says she has proved her point because 325,000 people shared the post within four days.
The photo, which shows a piece of paper with a handwritten message on it, says: “Please share this!
“So that I can show my children how far and fast a photo can travel through social media. Many thanks, a worried mum.”
Since posting the photo, Mrs Day was shocked to receive 400 friend requests from people she didn’t know and 1,000 messages.
More than a million people are expected to have seen the photo so far.
Mrs Day, 40, said: “To be honest, it is quite frightening how far and how fast the photo has travelled.
“I wanted my girls to know that as soon as they leave their computers, laptops or phones, what they have written is still there.
“I just want them to think about what they put online and also to think about prospective employers who now use social media to suss out potential employees.”
She added: “I’ve had messages from people I don’t know and numerous friend requests. It really scared me so I’ve made a new, really private Facebook account.
“I mainly wanted to show how frightening social media can be, especially to a child, and how you have to take care while using it.
“I’ve proven my point and I just hope that my children will take notice now.”
Hundreds of people have left online messages and comments for Mrs Day, thanking her for demonstrating the dangers of social media.
She said her family, daughters Imogen, 12, Ella, 13, and her husband Steve, couldn’t believe the response the photo had triggered already.
Keep safe with gifts
POLICE are advising parents to keep their children safe online as they unwrap smartphones and computers this Christmas.
The advice comes as part of Dorset Police’s Countdown to Christmas campaign.
The force warns that children can face risks online which include accessing inappropriate websites, losing control over pictures and videos, giving away personal information and communicating with strangers.
Online communication poses further risks concerning sexting, online bullying and grooming.
Sexting is the sending of inappropriate or indecent images via mobile technology. Control over these images is lost once sent. Online grooming is communication with the ultimate aim of meeting up to form a sexual relationship or persuading a child to perform sexual acts on webcam.
Bullying online is also a risk and causes distress and fear to children and young people.
Internet safety officer for the Safe Schools and Communities Team (SSCT), Mark Howell, advises parents to take an interest in their children’s online activities and suggests that parents encourage their children to show them how the websites they are using work.
Mark Howell said: “Discuss the risks and benefits of these sites.
“Children should know that if they are worried, they can talk to their parents or another appropriate adult.
“Parents need to be alert for the signs of online grooming or cyber bullying.
“Your child may be more private and secretive than usual.
“They may minimise screens, not engage with the family and spend long amounts of time on their mobile device or take the device to their bedroom.”
SSCT run courses in educational establishments, and educated just over 33,000 young people aged five to 16 plus last year in internet safety.
These courses include messages about keeping personal information safe, and encouraging young people to consider safe social networking and responsible online behaviour. The Safe Schools and Communities Team also hold classes for parents.
New team to fight online abuse
DORSET Police have a newly formed dedicated team to investigate reports of online child abuse.
The team works with the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and partner agencies to safeguard children.
The Paedophile Online Investigation Team (POLIT) is committed to targeting and bringing to justice those in Dorset who are sexually exploiting children over the internet.
Deputy Head of Public Protection Chief Inspector Chris Naughton said: “The internet can be a fantastic place for children and young people.
“However, just like in the real world sometimes things can go wrong. I would urge parents to visit the CEOP website for up to date advice on how to keep their children safe online.” If parents think that their child has been affected by their online communications they can contact the police on 101, report concerns via CEOP or use one of the many reporting portals on social media sites.
Comments are closed on this article.