Some facts about Internet Safety from Jayne and the Right2BSafe Team

11 February 2014

No matter what we are doing today with young people we should keep their internet use at the fore front of our discussions with them. Internet use is not isolated to just been on our lap tops and home computers, it relates to phone use as well. The sending of texts, images and personal details when using social media sites all comes under the spot light of being Safer when on line.

Some facts for you:

Research has shown that the average age for a child to have a SMART phone is now aged 8. This means that children have instant access 24 hours a day to the huge world of the internet sat in their pockets or in their bags where there can be very little monitoring of what they are sending and receiving.

On average if a teenage young woman is asked for naked pictures it will take approximately 7 days before she will finally send an image. During the 7 days she will have been flattered (groomed), blackmailed or tricked into doing so. Once that picture has been sent it no longer belongs to her, it can be sent anywhere and resurface at any time in her life. It can be used for further blackmail to take place to send more indecent images or perform sexual acts or to be forced to meet the recipient/abuser which increases their vulnerability much more. This situation can also happen to young men and boys too.

Statistics reveal a growing correlation between online abuse and self-harm and suicide attempts, part of this reason is that already socially isolated young people will use the internet to seek support and will therefore spend more hours in on line support groups and pages talking to anonymous others.

In January this year ChildLine reported an 87% increase in young people contacting them to report online bullying, significantly in the 12-15 year age group.

A study has shown that 63% of LGBT young people use the internet to meet other young people, again raising their vulnerability as you can not be 100% certain who you are talking to is who they say they are.

These facts highlight the need for us to be one step ahead of young peoples use of the internet and to be ready to talk with them about how they use it and how it is affecting them positively and negatively, not just today but every day.

If you are concerned that a young person you know is being abused or bullied through the internet or their phone then please get in touch with the Right 2B Safe team on 02380 434 455 and ask for Jayne Reeves.