Barnsley Council supports Safer Internet Day 2021

The Barnsley Safeguarding Adults Board and the Barnsley Safeguarding Children Partnership support Safer Internet Day and encourage the public to protect themselves and others online.

Online scams can come in all forms from bogus Council Tax emails to notifications of missed parcel deliveries and, more recently, COVID-19 vaccine payment demands, all of which look to exploit us from the comfort of our own homes.

The council encourages parents and carers to help keep children safe online by visiting the Child Net International website. Further information about protecting children from online abuse can be found on the NSPCC website.

Age UK have a dedicated page for internet security on their website for the safeguarding of adults.

Bob Dyson, the Independent Chair of the Barnsley Safeguarding Boards, said: "It's important that people take the time to ensure that they are keeping themselves and their family safe online.

"There are several organisations, such as saferinternet.org.uk, that provide practical advice on how to stay safe on the internet.

"A few minutes spent ensuring you know what to look out for could save you or a member of your family from being the victim of a scam or a child being taken advantage of online."

Councillor Margaret Bruff, Cabinet Spokesperson for Children's Services, added: "While the internet is an amazing place for children to play and learn, it's essential to keep track of what they're doing online and make sure they're safe.

"Schools often provide advice and guidance about being safe online but have conversations with your children about internet safety and what websites they are using."

Councillor Jenny Platts, Cabinet Spokesperson for Adults and Communities, said: "The internet is an integral part of our lives, particularly as many of us work or learn from home and stay in touch with our family and friends. However, we still see people using it for criminal activity or taking advantage of others.

"Be careful with what information you post online or have on your social media profiles and think about photos before sharing them.

"Please remain vigilant to scams on or offline; be cautious and listen to your instincts. Don't be afraid to hang up on a caller, bin a letter, delete an email or shut the door.

"I would encourage anyone who encounters any scam online to report it immediately as it could save someone else from becoming a victim."

If you've received an email which you're not quite sure is genuine, you can report it to the government's Suspicious Email Reporting Service by forwarding it to report@phishing.gov.uk.

If you think you've been scammed, tell your bank and report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

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