Local businesses support campaign to help keep children safe online
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More than 20 shops are helping us to keep children safe online by promoting our 'Sort Your Settings' campaign in store.
Our campaign works to provide parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to make sure the settings on games, consoles, smart devices, apps and social media, are right for their child.
We have expanded the advice we are providing to include settings information for those online platforms, including social media, that are often popular with children and teens. This includes how to access parental controls and guidance on age restrictions for some of the games and apps currently favoured by young people.
Roger Hirst, PFCC for Essex and Chair of the Violence and Vulnerability Partnership said:
“This is a fantastic initiative. "The electronic, online world changes so quickly that it is hard to keep up with new technology. "Sort Your Settings makes it easy for parents to ensure games consoles and smart devices are set up safely and securely with simple step by step instructions, making it easier to keep children safe online.”
Game, Smyths, Currys, Argos and CEX have all agreed to support our work by displaying sort your settings posters in store, as well as handing out advice cards to anyone who purchases a smart device, games console or game.
The posters and cards have QR codes, which when scanned, will take the person directly to our sort your settings webpage.
Online safety is a big concern
Andy Jepson, Store Manager of Smyths Toys in Chelmsford, said:
“We’re delighted to take part in raising awareness of the Sort Your Settings campaign. It's something that even I had not considered prior to this information being shared. "Online safety is a big concern, and you just don’t know who your children could talking to when gaming online. Being able to put the correct settings in place to help keep them safe, is priceless. "My colleagues and I at our busy store in Chelmsford, are totally onboard with the project to help inform parents, and protect children and vulnerable adults. “It’s been a real hit with our customers who are fascinated by the sort your setting support cards we give them when they buy an online device or game. "It prompts questions, starts discussions and gets people thinking about the steps they can take to keep their child safe when online."
Working with local businesses
PC Glen Foote from our Business Crime Team has been working with local businesses and asking for their support to help keep young people safe online.
“Our aim is to provide parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to make an informed decision on things like whether or not a game is appropriate for their child. “We're so grateful for the support we have received from local branches of Game, Smyths, Currys, Argos and CEX. “We are continuing to speak to other businesses who might like to get involved too. "Helping to safeguard children and young people online is not as easy task. The more informed people are, the more we can do to help protect them.”
We all need to review our settings
CEX Chelmsford is another store that is supporting the campaign. Reece Redwood-Smith, the Store Manager said:
“Being able to provide our customers with additional expert led advice is great to be a part of. It was an easy decision for us to make in CEX Chelmsford when approached to support the campaign. “The team and I can see the benefits of protecting vulnerable people. And more broadly taking a few simple steps as a matter of course when using electronic devices to protect against misuse, abuse or criminal acts. “We all need to review our settings from time to time and be reminded of their importance."
Have you sorted your settings?
For more information about loot boxes, chat functions and how to make your child safer online visit our sort your settings webpage.