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KCOM gives schools the tools to keep children safe online

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To help give parents a head start in identifying online dangers, KCOM is visiting schools across Hull and East Yorkshire giving valuable e-safety advice.

In a rapidly changing world it can be hard knowing how to keep your children safe online.

To help give parents a head start in identifying online dangers, KCOM is visiting schools across Hull and East Yorkshire giving valuable e-safety advice.

KCOM employees recently visited Thoresby and Eastfield Primary Schools, in Hull, to talk to teachers and parents about how to avoid the pitfalls of being online.

Product manager Terry Kent, who was one of the visiting KCOM team, believes internet safety is a major issue facing many 21st century families.

He said: “We lead such busy lives today that it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what your children are doing online.

“When you get home after a hectic day and there’s the tea to make, amongst other things, it’s all too easy to ask the kids to get from under your feet and go entertain themselves on their laptops or tablets. We’ve all done it.

“What we have tried to do with these sessions is to give parents the tools to stop their children getting into danger online, and also to look out for warning signs that something’s wrong, such as children becoming secretive or acting strangely.

“Hopefully we’re empowering parents to become more aware of how to check what content their children have access to as well as reminding them about things such as age restrictions on social media.

“The internet can be a fantastic place that opens up new horizons for children, but it can also be a dangerous place. Anything we can do to keep children safe is a step in the right direction.”

Teacher Leanne Andrews, of Eastfield Primary School, said: “It was fantastic to have the support of Terry and KCOM during our school's Internet Safety Week.

“He presented lots of really useful advice and technical tips to help parents keep their children safe online. It was brilliant to have someone who had the technical knowledge of all the different technologies children use to communicate online: tablets, desktops and phones.

“He talked us through not only the dangers of an increasingly digital world, but more importantly, the practical things we could do as parents and teachers to reduce the risks to children.” 

The school visits coincided with national Safer Internet Day, which was marked earlier this month with events across the UK. This year the theme of the day was “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”.

KCOM has recently also become an official supporter of online safety organisation Internet Matters as part of its drive to help local parents keep their children safe.

Internet Matters is backed by the UK’s biggest broadband providers and supported by leading online child safety experts.

Its website offers a host of e-safety resources and advice for parents on issues including online bullying and making sure children don’t have access to inappropriate content.

Advice is organised into useful guides aimed at different age groups, ranging from the under-fives to teenagers. Parents and schools are able to download these resources for free from the website www.internetmatters.org.

KCOM is now looking to take its free e-safety sessions to more schools in Hull and East Yorkshire. If your school would be interested in hosting one contact KCOM community coordinator Brendon Smurthwaite on 01482 602831 or by emailing Brendon.smurthwaite@kcom.com

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