PARENTS are urged to keep track of their children’s on-line lives to ensure they stay safe from themselves and cyber predators.

The Allertonshire School in Northallerton, North Yorkshire, organised a special forum for parents and invited one of the country’s leading authorities on e-safety to brief them on developments.

E-safety manager for the Yorkshire and Humber Grid for Learning, Tim Pinto, said: “As adults we possess wisdom which we have learnt through experience. Children do not really have this.

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“We need to express our concerns without making children too scared to use the internet but to do this we have to understand the technology our children are using.”

He added “Parents should show and interest in and talk about their children’s on-line lives.

“Set limits like you do with every other aspect of their lives. Take their phones when they go to bed, switch off the router and Xbox and look for signs of depression, aggression or self-harm.

“Register their phones in their own names so mobile phone companies know they are children and can use age restrictions. Use the restriction settings on the various devices to limit their internet access.”

Head teacher Mike Holmes said cyber safety was paramount as young people were helped to maximise the value of new technology.

“There is so much to be gained from new technology when it is used correctly,” he said.

“Computers, smart phones and the internet allow them to develop the skills they will need when they leave school.

“But it is vital that we share this exciting world and help steer our children away from the many pitfalls and towards the really useful content.”