Police give advice on how to keep children safe online

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WE ran a story today about a man who says he son was encourage to go to a pornographic website while playing Xbox online.

Here police in Hampshire give advice to parents to help keep children safe online.

These tips should help people understand the risks and keep up-to-date on the latest technology, websites and social networks.

- Keep computers and games consoles in family rooms where you can monitor activity.

- Install parental control software or activate parental controls through your internet service provider to prevent access to inappropriate content.

- ‘Friend’ or ‘follow’ your child on social networking sites, so you can see how they are using them.

- Check they are old enough to join any websites or social networks with age restrictions.

- Advise your child not to post personal information or any images they wouldn’t want everyone to see.

- Avoid using webcams unless talking to close friends or family and consider covering it when not in use.

- Monitor their usage and be watchful for any secretive behaviour.

- Encourage your child to be open about what they do online and who they’re talking to.

- Offer to go with them if they wish to meet online friends.

- Ensure the games your child plays online are age appropriate.

If police consider a message or post to be potentially criminal, they can take action including arrest and bringing a prosecution, especially in cases involving a sustained campaign of harassment.

Police and the Crown Prosecution Service will include whether it is in the public interest to pursue the case, how vulnerable the victim is and what resources are available to trace the offender.