Today is Safer Internet Day and one thing is certain, we cannot keep turning a blind eye to the problems present online. From cyber-security threats that can cause financial damage, to online harassment which is disproportionately vile to women.
Our children are also exposed to a wider range of problems than ever before. The all-encompassing and addictive nature of social media combined with the easy access to harmful content online can have severe and long-lasting effects on their mental health.
Throughout my political career I have worked hard to raise awareness of these issues. From speaking in Parliament about the abuse women receive online, to working with Government on the Digital Economy Bill, and taking part in roundtables on internet safety policies. I’ve also held events and meetings with a wide variety of groups such as BT and the NSPCC, seeing what we can do for children specifically. My personal highlight was going to local schools and promoting internet safety among the students. Our children are bright, if we talk about internet safety they will listen.
The Government is also doing its part by holding technology companies to account and working on a raft of new proposals in a White Paper to be published soon.
But this is an issue that cannot be solved by Government alone, we must share best practice amongst ourselves and stay aware.
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