LSCBLocal Safeguarding Children Board Northamptonshire

Sexting - Guidance for Parents and Carers

Northamptonshire Police are investigating on a daily basis cases involving the sharing of explicit material on social media involving children. The key message is to remind everyone that one click can have a massive impact and young people are being urged to think twice before ‘sexting’ and to pause before they post something on social media sites they may later regret.

It is vital that people are aware of the dangers of sharing explicit material online and could constitute a criminal offence. It may seem like harmless fun at the time but it can have huge emotional consequences for those involved, leaving them vulnerable to blackmail, bullying and harm. It’s really important to remember that once an image is online all control of where it ends up is lost.

It is vital that parents and carers understand the risks children face when they are online.

From social media to online gaming, the internet plays a major role in children's lives. It is a fantastic source of information and entertainment for children, but unfortunately offenders are increasingly using the internet and technology to harm children.

Here are some useful tips and reminders for your children:

  • Not everyone is who they say they are. It is very easy for somebody to hide their real identity online.
  • NEVER arrange to meet a person you have 'met' on the internet.
  • NEVER give out contact details to someone you have met online such as your phone number or address.
  • DO NOT give out personal details that could reveal your age, gender or location, such as your school.
  • Change your email address if you suspect someone you have met online has access to it.
  • Tell a parent or trusted adult if you’re worried about something or someone you have come across on the internet.
  • Only use moderated chat rooms to chat to your friends on, which are monitored to keep you safe.
  • Never email a photo of yourself to someone you’ve met online.
  • Don't believe everything you read - sometimes people don't tell the truth and will say things to manipulate you.
  • Use your common sense! If something seems wrong or makes you feel uncomfortable, you must tell a parent or another trusted adult immediately.

The NSPCC and ChildLine have produced a range of excellent online safety resources for both children and adults.

Please visit Northamptonshire Police website for further advice, http://www.northants.police.uk/support/protecting-children-online  

Anybody who has concerns should report them to Northamptonshire Police on 101 or in an emergency 999.

Last updated: 03 July 2018

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