BBC shows support Safer Internet Day

Jacqueline Jossa EastEnders actress Jacqueline Jossa has been a victim of online bullying

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With increasing concerns about online bullying and internet safety, the BBC are launching a range of programmes in support of Safer Internet Day on Tuesday.

EastEnders star Jacqueline Jossa, who plays Lauren Branning, has presented an online film about how users can protect themselves against "ratting", where criminals hack into webcams.

The actress, who has been a victim of online bullying, said: "When I was subjected to abuse from online bullies it was upsetting at first, but I could turn off my phone, not read the messages or simply take no notice of them. But with webcam hacking or 'ratting', people are being targeted often without their knowledge, and the results can be devastating."

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Most of the CBBC audience will be about to take the plunge into that very exciting and unchartered world of social media”

End Quote Melanie Stokes Executive producer

Radio 1 and 5 live will join forces for a live broadcast at 12:30 to look at the impact of young people accessing porn on their mobile phones.

The actress Maxine Peake also features in Radio 4's Woman's Hour in the crime drama Craven, which focuses on online criminality. The station's daily consumer programme You & Yours will also host a live discussion from Gateshead on Tuesday morning as part of a whole week devoted to online safety.

Safer Internet Day is organised in the UK by the UK Safer Internet Centre. BBC Learning executive producer Andrew Tomlinson blogged that the corporation was supporting the event as part of its educational remit, adding: "We also have a duty to help people use and understand new technology."

He admitted that, in the past, "Its 'worthiness factor' had programme-makers running for the hills" but youth-focused networks such as Radio 1 and CBBC were among the first to realise internet safety was one of the biggest issues facing children and young people.

Children's interaction

The BBC also commissioned a poll of 2,000 parents and 2,000 children, which found that nearly a fifth of children who use handheld devices have been upset by something they've seen on them in the last year. Half of those children were also worried by sexual content or "rude things".

In addition, the poll found that parents were less likely to talk about internet safety with teenagers than with younger children aged 8-12.

On CBBC, Newsround reporter Ricky Boleto will host a special where he talks to young victims of cyberbullying. The channel will also launch their first online drama Dixi, produced by Kindle Entertainment, about a young girl's interaction with a fictitious social network.

Dixi cast in front of graffiti Dixi will be available online from 24 February

Executive producer Melanie Stokes said: "Most of the CBBC audience will be about to take the plunge into that very exciting and unchartered world of social media for the first time. With Dixi we want to really use the vernacular of those sites to dramatise the highs and lows that come with living life online."

You can find online safety tips on the BBC Webwise site.

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