TIM DREW: Teaming up for online safety...

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THE Neighbourhood & Home Watch Network internet safety website, Get Safe Online, and parental control software supplier Norton are joining forces next month to give you practical advice about how to keep your children and grandchildren safe when they use the internet.

While it is an almost endless resource for children when it comes to learning, communicating and entertainment, the internet is also largely unregulated and is a mecca for those who practice bullying using emotional and psychological means.

According to Facebook, nearly 43 per cent of children have been bullied online, with 25 per cent being bullied more than once – and only one in ten will tell a parent or trusted adult that they have been abused.

So, parents and grandparents need to be aware as to how to protect children online – not only through parental controls and specialist software, but also by engaging with them from an early age and maintaining that engagement while they are growing up, thereby minimising the potential for tragedies to occur.

Get Safe Online is putting together a guide for parents of children of all ages. Assembled with the help of Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network and Norton, this will be available on Get Safe Online’s website in early September, and will take you through the different ages of your children, detailing some of the risks they face online, suggesting practical ways in which you can engage with them and helping you put the appropriate steps in place to keep them safe.

The advice is written by experts, easy to follow and implement, and free of charge. You will be able to sign up for updates and the latest information on the website, www.getsafeonline.org

A Neighbourhood Panel Meeting for Castle ward will be held on Wednesday, September 4, at the Maybridge Keystone Centre, in Raleigh Way, Maybridge, between 7pm and 8pm, with PCSO Dan Cobden’s surgery taking place at the Durrington Community Centre, in New Road, Durrington, between 5pm and 6pm the following day.