Police issue advice to keep Derbyshire children safe on social media

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Derbyshire police have issued advice to help keep the county’s children safe on social media sites this summer.

With social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat becoming more involved in our everyday lives, police are offering advice to help keep youngsters safe online.

Mobile applications for tablets and smartphones appear to be increasing in popularity, including the ‘ooVoo’ video chat app which allows the user to make video calls with up to 12 people.

And officers are now issuing advice to parents and guardians to help their children to enjoy using ooVoo safely.

Like many other sites and apps, ooVoo is used by both adults and children which means that children can be directly contacted by an adult they don’t know, and activity may also be adult in nature.

Safer Neighbourhood officers are encouraging parents to ensure that any children aged 13 or under are discouraged from using such apps. They are also asking parents to set the privacy settings so that their child can only be in contact with people that they know and trust in the real world.

Other crime prevention advice for staying safe on social media and instant messaging sites include:

Never give out passwords, credit card information or other private data;

Block strangers. If your software allows it, set up the system so that only people on your ‘allow’ list can contact you;

Be very wary of disclosing any private information to a stranger you meet via instant messaging. Even apparently innocent information like the name of your employer can be used against you by fraudsters;

Never click on links that you receive through instant messaging from people that you do not know and trust, and that you have never met in real life;

Leave your online profile blank, or where you have to enter data to use the system, enter fictitious data;

Do not let children use instant messaging chat rooms unsupervised.

For more advice on how to keep your child safe online, visit www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents or www.getsafeonline.org.