The lead police officer for cyber crime in Northamptonshire has urged parents to “step up to the mark” to protect their children from the dangers of using the internet.
Assistant Chief Constable Russ Foster has said the number of cyber crimes had increased in the past few years, in particular child grooming and fraud.
To coincide with Safer Internet Day, Mr Foster said he wanted parents to be proactive in protecting their children from paedophiles, stalkers and bullies.
Mr Foster said: “Very often parents don’t realise what’s going on and I urge them to step up to the mark in protecting their children. It can be hard for people to accept that some people online have bad intentions but sadly it can be the case.
“I ask people to be proactive and to take the steps listed below to protect against online abuse, fraud, identity theft, viruses and many other problems encountered online.”
Mr Foster said Northamptonshire Police was constantly updating its training for officers to combat internet-related offences and said there was now a specialist cyber crime prevention team.
If you are a parent or child who would like to report suspicious online behaviour, contact Childline or the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre.
Internet safety tips for parents are also available by visiting the websites www.thinkuknow.co.uk or www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents
Northamptonshire Police’s top tips for staying safe online include using the privacy and security settings on social media sites so that only friends and family can see the pages. #
Make sure you have anti-virus software installed on your computer and be careful what you download or install on your computer.
If you get an email or a text from someone that you don’t recognise, don’t open any attachments. Banks will never ask you for your password in an email so don’t respond to any emails with personal details.