EXPERTS from a variety of organisations will be on hand at a special awareness-raising event at Ankerside Shopping Centre tomorrow (Tuesday, February 20) to share advice and technical support on how parents can help keep their children safe online.
Representatives from Tamworth Borough Council, the police, NSPCC, Teen Spirit and O2 will join together to answer questions on all aspects of online safety, including cyber bullying and child sexual exploitation. O2 will also offer technical support for setting up parental controls on the various devices children may use to access the internet.
The event, which has been organised by Tamworth Community Safety Partnership in conjunction with Ankerside Shopping Centre and O2, takes place between 10am and 2pm and people are invited to visit the stand at any time during that period.
It marks the culmination of activities surrounding the 2018 Safer Internet Day, which has seen Tamworth Borough Council’s Play and Education Officer delivering online safety talks to hundreds of primary school children and parents during the last two weeks.
Although the officer visits schools throughout the year, online safety sessions are often concentrated around the annual Safer Internet Day, which this year took place on February 6.
Tuesday’s event provides parents with children of all ages access to first-hand help and advice from a range of relevant organisations.
Cllr Stephen Doyle, Tamworth Borough Council’s Cabinet member for Communities and Wellbeing, said: “The internet is a valuable resource for young people growing up in this technological age. However, it can also pose risks and dangers which children and their parents need to be aware of.
“These risks can be mitigated as long as users know what measures they can take to protect themselves online. Parents play an important role in ensuring their children know the dangers, such as not sharing personal information, creating strong passwords and being aware that people can lie about their identities online.
“While we are talking to children about this all year round, Safer Internet Day does raise the profile of the issue and we take advantage of this to spread the safety message as widely as possible. The event at Ankerside Shopping Centre on Tuesday, February 20 will provide people with the opportunity to get all the latest safety information and advice, as well as practical support from O2 in setting up devices for children to use more safely. I would encourage people to visit and find out more.”
Jeff Wigley, Ankerside Shopping Centre manager, said he is looking forward to raising awareness of how adults as well as children can use the internet more safely.
“Here at Ankerside, our O2 store is extremely active in helping the public understand technology and the various devices that are available,” he said.
“More importantly, O2 will be advising shoppers on how to set up devices for children, as well as assemble parental controls on their own phones, tablets and desktops that little ones use for games.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity to partner with Tamworth Community Safety Partnership and O2 to bring knowledge of the risks of browsing the internet, as well as how to avoid the chances of danger whilst online and we’re sure the event will be a huge success with the people of Tamworth.”
Information and safety advice is available from a number of resources including: