We all have a duty to report eCRIME and to protect others, particularly the vulnerable or those in our care, from eCRIME abuse.

National Policing Lead for ACPO Communication Advisory Group Chief Constable Andy Trotter said:

“People may think they can remain anonymous when they are online, that they can hide, say and do things they wouldn’t dream of doing in real life without consequences or being found out; this is not the case.

 

“Reports of credible threats and communications made over social media that specifically target an individual and constitute harassment will be taken very seriously by the police and investigated.  Please call your local police force on 101 if you think you are being harassed or threatened online.”

WHAT TO DO

 

IF YOU SEE SOMETHING INAPPROPRIATE

 

If you ever come across anything on the internet that makes you feel uncomfortable, no matter where it is, please report it.

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

Please watch this powerful video by Strutt Central about the Cyber Bullying Virus, a message we completely support

IF SOMEONE SPREADS RUMOURS ABOUT YOU

 

If someone has posted false and malicious things about you on the internet or on a social networking site, it may be regarded as harassment.  Harassment, on or off line, is a crime under UK laws.

 

This can be very distressing.  Anything nasty posted about you can be seen by lots of people, very quickly, because it's so public and because the bullies make sure they tell everyone where to find the abuse.  The bullies know this.  These bullies are cowards as they hide behind the technology to bully others !

 

Increasingly common are complaints that the spreading of malicious rumours and vicious gossip is being carried out by a person who was once your best friend.  So chose your friends carefully.  Be careful what you tell your friends. Keep your own secrets to yourself. Only tell people things if it wouldn't embarrass you if other people found out about it.  Be cyber-savvy. Keep your own counsel.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

 

IF YOU ARE BEING THREATENED

 

It's against the law in the UK to use the phone system - which includes the internet - to cause alarm or distress.  It could even be against the 1997 Harassment Act.

 

If threats are made against you then it's essential that you alert someone you trust, or call a helpline or contact the Police.  If someone is threatening you on the internet, or threatening someone you know, they could be committing a criminal offence.

 

Try to get documentary evidence if you can.  By pressing the ‘print screen’ button, you should be able to print of a hard copy of the threatening text or images.  Place it in a safe place, both on and off line.

 

If you need help doing this, call any helpline - as they should be able to talk you through it.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF YOU ARE BEING BLACKMAILED

 

UK and even worldwide, helplines receive increasingly regular, disturbing, calls from adults and young people who say they have met a person over the internet, who calls themselves a friend, but who pressurises them into taking their clothes off and filming themselves.  These so called friends then post the images on-line worldwide !  These strangers then blackmail their target (YOU).

 

This blackmail is closely associated with Grooming.  Grooming is where strangers make friends with you and then try to involve you in inappropriate activities (see below).  In the UK this behaviour is a criminal offence – as indeed blackmail is.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF YOU ARE BEING GROOMED

 

Do not allow yourself to be intimidated into taking part in unacceptable behaviour over the internet, by someone on line who you do not know. Simply do not participate in something you feel uncomfortable about.  Just refuse.  Say NO!

 

These are not true friends.  They are NOT the sort of people you want to be associated with, frankly.  They may even threaten you saying that if you do not do exactly what they say, they will contact your family and/or friends and tell lies about you.  They are unlikely to do this.  This is just to frighten you into doing what they want you to do!  Don’t fall for it!

 

This behaviour is a serious criminal offence called "grooming".  Men who have been found guilty of "grooming" have been sent to jail.  You wouldn’t get into a car with a stranger, would you?   No!  So, don’t fall for this trick.  If you, or someone you know, is being groomed on-line by a stranger  – report it immediately to someone you trust.

 

Do not hesitate to call an expert or report the matter to the Police.  The Police are now able to get information from your computer's hard drive but it would be helpful if you did not delete anything that might be useful evidence of the grooming.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF THINGS TURN NASTY WHEN INSTANT MESSAGING (IM)

 

There are quite a few instant messaging systems out here now.  They are a great way to have a chat with a friend. MSN and Google are two of the best known ways to instantly message a friend (IM).  But if things turn nasty you can block people from seeing you are on line and you can save abusive conversations or print them out as evidence.

 

Most social media sites have alert buttons and delete buttons and some even have a ‘report abuse’ button.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF SOMEONE POSTS NASTY PICTURES OF YOU

 

We all know how easy it is to snap a picture on a camera or mobile phone and then post it up on Facebook or on the internet.

Yes, isn’t technology simply amazing.  It is also a minefield of corruption and danger!

 

Make sure that you have a person's permission to take a picture of them for posting on-line, before you proceed.  Once it has been posted thousands of people can see it on the internet.  Don’t offend others.  Don't hurt someone you care about by uploading their picture, for others to have a laugh at. That could be considered harassment and harassment is against the law in the UK.

 

Don't digitally alter pictures of people either because what you might think is funny, may be offensive to other people.

 

Don't let anyone take a pictures of you that might embarrass you.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF SOMEONE STEALS YOUR IDENTITY

 

In an ever increasing world of technology, stolen identity is more common than you think.  It happens when someone either hacks into your computer, laptop or account and pretends to be you when they set up a new account.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help

IF SOMEONE STEALS YOUR PASSWORD

 

If you think someone has stolen your password, report the matter immediately.

Change your password immediately.

 

Try to pick an unusual password and use letters and numbers

Do not tell anyone what your password is (other than a parent)

Do not keep your password on you in written form ie: in your bag, purse or wallet

Don't use any part of your name or email address and don't use your birth date either because that's easy for people who know you to guess.

Don't let anyone see you signing in and if they do, change the password as soon as you can.

 

Be cyber-savvy in all your on-line activities.

Tell someone you trust about your concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help.

IF YOU ARE A CONCERNED PARENT

 

Have ground rules about computer and mobile use and communicate these rules.

Have a shared computer room. Do not allow a child to spend hours, unsupervised, on a computer in their bedroom for example.

Activate privacy settings.  Seek advice if you do not know how to do this.

Use the ‘Abuse’ buttons where applicable.

Install anti-virus and filtering technology.

Seek IT support if you need it.

Think carefully before you allow your child to have a ‘smart phone’ or a mobile phone that enables them to access the internet freely.

Encourage your child to talk about any concerns and about who they are chatting to on-line.

Encourage your child to keep a diary so that s/he can write down what they experience daily and, in particular, how s/he feels.

 

Teach your child to CRI.

C ommunicate; Tell a bully to stop, speak out and express your views.

R ecord; Keep a diary, take a snapshot of cyber bullying, capture the evidence.

I nform; Tell a parent, teacher or someone you trust about the bullying.

 

If you notice a change in behaviour in your child, seek support from your family GP or a trained counsellor, immediately.

 

Don’t be too proud to seek expert help if you have concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help.

IF YOU’RE A PARENT DEALING WITH A CASE

 

A parent who truly believes their child is ‘at risk’ of self harm, or harm from another, due to bullying at school or bullying on line - should take immediate action.

 

Ask your child to draw a picture or keep a diary.  This becomes important evidence. Ask your child to sit down and write the name of the bully or bullies and draw pictures or write a sentence or two about what is happening and how they feel.  Do not dictate this letter. Do not correct spelling mistakes. Allow the child the freedom to express himself or herself freely.  This document then becomes a very important document in respect of your case. This document will give you, the parent, credibility and it will enable you to effectively help your child.

Take a snapshot of the evidence if the bullying is either on-line or via mobile text.  This is important evidence.  Keep it safe.

If the perpetrators go to your child’s school, write to the school and attach a copy of the evidence and state, explicitly, that you hold the school responsible for the safety and welfare of your child. Ask the school to investigate the bullying and report back, in writing, with a proposed action plan to remedy the situation.

If matters are not resolved, escalate your case to the Trustees; to the local authority (formerly LEA, now LA) and/or your local MP.  Contact us for our Parents Guide and sample letters.

If you are concerned for your child’s safety, call us immediately – or alert the Police.

Your child may also need counselling.  Speak to your family doctor about this.

 

Remember, the most important thing in all of this is the welfare of your child

Call us if you have any concerns.

 

Call a helpline and seek professional help.

How do I protect my children online

Bullying Protection Software that strikes at the heart of Bullying and Cyber Bullying

AWARENESS ONLINE

Everyone you meet on the internet is a stranger.

You need to keep personal things, personal to you.

Don't share your secrets with other people.

Do not respond if someone asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. Say “NO” and don't do it.

Once an image is up on the internet it is permanent and it will go out to billions and billions of viewers.

Once an image is posted on-line, it is difficult to retrieve.

Do not allow a stranger, on the internet, to place pressure on you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

If you are concerned about behaviour on a social media site, report it immediately, as such behaviour can be investigated by experts and by the Police.

By reporting disturbing behaviour or unacceptable practices you may even save a life !

Even if you do not know very much about the person behaving strangely, the Police may still be able to trace them.

WARNING

Cyber Bullies

If you post abuse about someone on the internet, whether it's in places like Facebook. Twitter, Bebo, in games forums or message boards, or if you send threats in chatrooms or on IM like MSN, you can be traced.

 

The Police will be able to trace you without any difficulty.

 

Every time you visit a website or make a posting, your internet service provider, ie AOL, BT or Virgin, has an electronic note of your activity.  Even if you create an anonymous email address like hotmail or yahoo, you can still be traced.

 

Nothing is secret in cyber space.

Employees

If you are thinking about writing a hate blog about a colleague, manager or employer - or committing an act of eCRIME, think twice.

 

Your behaviour on-line today, may damage your job prospects tomorrow.

 

What you write now, on-line, tells a third-party what sort of person you are.

 

Employers now search the internet before they take people on.

 

Not many people know that !

Employers

You may have a happy workforce today but from time to time you may experience a degree of ‘fall out’ between management and staff or between groups of employees.  A disgruntled, aggrieved, member of staff or ex-employee may turn to social media sites to vent their anger.  Such conduct may even bring your business to disrepute and cause serious, irreparable, harm. Can you afford to take that chance?

 

Ensure your HR policies and Settlement Agreements are eCRIME proof.  Any Employment Solicitor or HR Consultant should be able to help you put safety policies in place. Whilst it will never completely stop inappropriate on-line activity, explicit boundary lines will probably act as a deterrent.

FOR ALL PRESS ENQUIRIES

Contact Ms Amanda Stocks,

Exclusive Press & Publicity

T: 020 7484 8628

E: amanda@exclusivepressandpublicity.com

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