Reading FC Community Trust work closely alongside and in partnership with Thames Valley Police on a variety of positive initiatives that run across the Reading area.
And the Trust are very proud to be able to support a very important message relating to online safety for our supporters and local community.
Staying safe online has never been more important than right now as we’re all spending more time on our phones, tablets, laptops and games consoles to stay in touch, work and learn and just to keep our spirits up.
There is a risk with social media and games that have a chat option that someone that you don’t know could try to contact you, add you as a friend or request to follow you. Remember, it’s ok to ignore their message or decline their request.
Thames Valley Police know that some criminals are using the lockdown to try and make contact with young people online, build up a friendship with them and then encourage them to do things that they don’t feel comfortable doing. Not everyone online is who they say they are, so don’t befriend people you don’t know.
Now is a good time to take a look at the privacy settings of the apps that you use. Check the default settings and make appropriate changes to keep yourself and your family safe when you use them. Advice for more than 60 of the most popular apps and games has been created by the NSPCC and O2 and can be found at www.net-aware.org.uk
If you are unsure about someone that you’re speaking to or if you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried...walk away from your phone or computer and tell an adult immediately. This could be a friend, your parent, one of your teachers, the police or Childline.
To support parents and teachers during COVID-19, the National Crime Agency’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection team are producing fortnightly activity packs to help discuss staying safe online with your children.
These resources contain two 15-minute activities for four different age groups to ensure that they are age-appropriate. You can find the packs for 4-7-year-olds, 8-10-year-olds, 11-13-year-olds and over 14s at www.thinkuknow.co.uk.