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On-line safety is the subject of Police web chat

John Freeman
Lancashire Constabulary is to hold two special interactive web chats to discuss the importance of staying safe online.

The web chats will take place on 12th June – one during school time, one after school. It’s the second time police have held internet safety chats - the first one in February was a big success with several schools and a number of individuals posing questions about internet safety.

Detective Inspector Hazel Stewart and e-safety officer Lynne Asbridge from Lancashire Constabulary’s public protection team will be holding the web chat with safety experts from local authorities.

The chats will take place via the Lancashire Police website and its Facebook site .

Schools and individuals are invited to take part in two sessions. The first, primarily aimed at students and teachers will take place from 11.30am – 12.30pm and the second session aimed at just young people will take place from 4.30pm – 5.30pm.

Commenting on the web chats, DI Stewart said: “The internet is now a major part of our lives with the vast majority of people having internet access either at home or work.

“This is great because it opens up so many opportunities but on the flipside it also means it is easier for criminals to target people online.

“Young people are particularly vulnerable because although they may have good technical skills they may not be quite as savvy when it comes to safety. That’s why we’re working with young people on a variety of projects designed to increase awareness of online safety - web chats being just one of the ways we are doing this.”

Anyone who can’t take part in the chats, but who wants safety tips, can visit for more information, but as a bare minimum Police advice the following:

Safer internet tips for adults -

  • Make sure your firewall and anti-virus software is up to date

  • Use different passwords for different sites

  • Use secure and official sites (look for the padlock sign) when making purchases on-line

  • Keep back up copies and print outs of on-line documents

  • Do not disclose bank details as proof or age or identity

  • Don’t reveal personal details to people you meet, or who contact you, on-line.

Safer internet tips for children and young people –

  • Never give out personal details to online friends if you do not know them offline

  • Remember people online may not be who they say they are – use caution when chatting to people who you do not already know

  • Never arrange to meet up with strangers without an adult present who you trust

  • Think carefully about the information and pictures you post on your profiles. Once published online, anyone can change or share these images of you

  • Don’t open files from people you do not know – they may contain viruses which could damage your computer

  • If you feel uncomfortable about anything that happens online tell an adult