With children of all ages being able to access the internet, it is important that you know how to keep your child safe online.
Although the internet lets children connect with friends and learn new things, there are also dangers to going online, and children can be particularly vulnerable. Reports of online child sexual abuse crimes to police have jumped by over 80% in the last three years.
The Northern Ireland Assembly included four new offences to strengthen our response to online grooming of children in its Justice (Sexual Offences and Trafficking Victims) Bill (April 2022).
Now, any adult found masquerading as a child online to lure and groom will face up to two years in prison and up to 10 years on the sex offenders register.
We are asking parents to pose the question to themselves – do you know who your child is really speaking to online?
Below we offer some key tips on how to make sure your child enjoys the internet safely.