Each year in Highland we provide a letter with advice to support Parents / Carers, the latest version can be downloaded or viewed by clicking this link Mobile Phone Advice Letter 2012.
Modern mobile phones or ‘smart phones’ are in essence small computers. The latest phones provide great opportunities for being more connected in the digital world, but can also therefore pose a risk for users to be identified or located, and send or receive images they may feel uncomfortable with.
Police and Highland Council are therefore seeking to raise awareness and specifically highlight the dangers which exist if young people find themselves in uncomfortable or compromising situations.
Louise Jones, ICT Curriculum Liaison Manager and Chair of the Highland E-Safety Group: “The Highland E-Safety Group is a partnership group consisting of The Highland Council, Northern Constabulary, NHS Highland, High Life Highland and Fujitsu. The Group provide helpful guidance to parents/carers, professionals and children and young people on a range of E-Safety topics.
“Each year an advice letter is provided particularly for parents/carers of P7 pupils on Mobile Phone Safety during the early summer months as children make the transition to their Secondary School. It is known that this is often a time when young people request a mobile phone in order to keep in touch with home and also be connected to their peers.
“The Mobile Phone Advice Letter provides a good starting for parents/carers to discuss the safety aspects of owning a mobile phone and also learn about the new additional functions the latest smart phones provide. The advice has been developed to promote a safer online community and is part of the approach to learning about how to use technology safely and responsibly that takes place in schools.”
DI Vince McLaughlin said: “Northern Constabulary and Highland Council routinely issue advice to parents and children through schools. The latest letter offering advice on mobile technology and internet safety has been issued before the end of the school term to ensure that children and parents have the most up to date advice and information prior to the start of the summer holidays.
“It is vital that modern technology is used with responsibility and regard for safety and privacy. This is a topic we are also considering for one of our regular Facebook Chat events in the near future.”
Sally Amor, Child Health Commissioner for NHS Highland, said: “This is a welcome initiative. As agencies involved in working with children and young people across Highland our shared interests lies in working with parents to support young people to have the skills and knowledge to be confident in their use of technology and to make well informed decisions about its use: this to ensure that they stay safe and are responsible and respectful of themselves and others in the use of smart phone devices.”
The NSPCC has recently conducted research into the issue of ‘sexting’, the research which has a really helpful executive summary can be accessed here.