Protecting vulnerable people from internet crime
Healthcare professionals face a challenge when promoting safe and inclusive internet use
People with a learning disability walk a thin line between becoming a victim or perpetrator of online crime, according to an article in the April issue of Learning Disability Practice.
Social networking offers many benefits for people in this vulnerable group, such as social acceptance and new opportunities for communication, but it can also leave them exposed to crime through lack of understanding.
The article includes examples of one client who became a victim of online crime and another who became a perpetrator.
Nurses working with people with learning disabilities must, therefore, be trained in internet safety and ‘digital professionalism’ to help protect their clients, the authors of the article argue.
Learning disability nurses should also maintain professional boundaries between themselves and clients they may have befriended on social networking sites in a bid to monitor their online activities.
The authors state that: ‘Internet access should be safe and inclusive, and supported through individual assessments, care planning, and the education and monitoring of service users.’
To this end, organisations need policies in place to train their staff on internet safety so that clients can benefit from online access.
Read the article