Parents warned about indecent images sent to children on apps and social media

Parents are being urged to be aware what apps and social media sites their youngsters are using.
Parents are being urged to be aware what apps and social media sites their youngsters are using.

Police are reminding parents to be aware of the potential for indecent images to be circulated to children via social media and apps used by young people.

It follows a recent incident when a 13-year-old girl using the Monkey app on her iPad was sent an indecent image by a man.

Officerfs are advising parents to keep a close eye on social network sites and apps that their children may be using, and to give them advice on what to do if they come across any indecent or unwanted contact.

The best way for children to stay safe is to make them aware of the potential dangers and the perils of sharing personal information online.

Neighbourhood Police regularly visit schools to talk to young people about how to stay safe on the internet, and safety tips for parents, children and teachers are available on the force website.

Detective Inspector Sharon Chatterton of the force's Cyber Crime Unit said: "The internet is an essential tool and social networking sites are a popular way for children to communicate with their friends, but we need to make sure our youngsters stay safe online and know what to do if they receive indecent or other unwelcome images or posts.

"We know that new apps and sites appear daily online and it would be unrealistic to ask parents and carers to understand all of them.

"The sites and services your child likes to use may change regularly but the messages to keep themselves safe remain the same – be kind online, think before you post, and only accept friend requests form people you know and trust.

"It’s very important that we make sure young people stay safe online and are aware of the risks and what they can do to avoid them.

"Anyone who may have concerns about images they have received should speak with a trusted adult or the police straight away.

Advice for young people:

Be wary of publishing any identifying information about yourself – either in your profile or in your posts – such as phone numbers, pictures of your home, or school, your address or birthday.

Keep your profile closed and allow only your real friends to view your profile.

Make sure you learn how to use any site or social media app properly. Use the privacy features to restrict strangers’ access to your profile. Be guarded about who you let join your network.

For further information visit the Get Safe Online website HERE.