Coronavirus lockdown could expose children to more online abuse, MP fears
CHILDREN are at a greater risk of being victims of online abuse during the coronavirus lockdown, government ministers have warned.
Senior MPs fear that with more people than ever working from home and youngsters relying on the internet to continue their education, the chances of being exposed to things like cyberbullying and online grooming have increased.
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has issued advice for parents on how to protect their children from this.
Ministers recommend reviewing security and safety settings, checking facts and guarding against disinformation, being vigilant against fraud and scams, and managing the amount of time spent online.
Gosport MP and minister for digital and culture, Caroline Dinenage, said: ‘Staying at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives means we are spending more time online. This means we must all be extra vigilant, follow good security practice and make sure our children are safe too.
‘It’s also important that we check the facts behind what we read and remember to take regular breaks.
‘That’s why we have brought together a wealth of practical advice which I urge parents to use and share with their children.
The guidance has tailored advice for parents to keep their children safe online.
This includes using parental controls to manage what children can access, switching on family filters to protect children from inappropriate content, and having conversations with children to encourage them to speak to a trusted adult if they come across anything that makes them uncomfortable.
The full guidance is available to read online – go to gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-staying-safe-online.