We want more people to be able to enjoy the digital world, safely and securely and so when it comes to keeping children safe online, I’m proud of the work we’ve done together with BT, Sky and Virgin Media to found Internet Matters – a not-for-profit providing information and advice for parents and carers.
The issues that could affect children and young people are broad ranging and now that schools have been back for a few weeks now, we’re reminded that bullying is no longer confined to the playground. Today there are emails, texts, nasty comments or humiliating images posted online to contend with too. And so when the words “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” no longer ring true, our approach to tackling the issue needs to change too.
Children and young people can be empowered by social media and connecting with their friends online, but unfortunately that can also make the effects of cyber-bullying even more impactful. Eight times as many Google searches for cyber-bullying take place now compared with the summer holidays and new research by Internet Matters reveals that cyber-bullying is now as much of a worry for parents as online grooming or sexting. Yet one in three parents is yet to talk to their children about it.
This week, Internet Matters launched its new campaign to help tackle cyber-bullying, helping us to understand how cyber-bullying might affect children, the signs to watch out for and how to talk about cyber-bullying. Take a read here to find out more.
Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk