Here are some simple ways to keep children and young people safe online:
- For many children and young people there is no line between the online and offline worlds. The internet is used as a social tool and in the same way that you guide and support them offline, you should be there for them online too. Talk to them about what they’re doing. If they know you understand they are more likely to approach you if they need support. Keep lines of communication open – tell your child they can always talk to you or another trusted adult, such as a teacher, if they do end up in some sort of trouble on the internet. Make them aware that there are things on the internet which may distress them.
- Be involved in your child’s online life. Children and young people are inquisitive. They will look to explore the internet as much as they do the real world. Knowing the sites they go to, the people they meet there and what they do will help to keep children and young people safe.
- Spend some time surfing the internet yourself. The more that you know about the internet, the better able you are, in turn, to help your child navigate around it without coming to any harm.
- Stay alert to any sudden changes in mood or appearance, or to any major change in habits or to increased secretiveness. These are often tell-tale signs that something is not right.
- Install internet filtering software showing a Child Safety Online Kitemark on your computer. Filtering products with a Kitemark have been independently tested to provide a simple and effective means of support to parents, helping to ensure that a child’s online experience is a safe one. The Kitemark scheme is sponsored by the Home Office and Ofcom.
- We remind parents that social media sites such as Facebook only permit people over the age of 13 to use them. A student in year 7/8 will have provided fraudulent details in order to gain access and this is something that they, and parents, need to be aware of.
- Be aware of professional sources of help. These include:
The main UK Government website with advice for parents on how to keep children safe online
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) is the Government body dedicated to eradicating abuse of children. Concerns about inappropriate contacts between a child and an adult, including online, can be reported directly to CEOP.
The site is a collection of articles, tips, expert advice and resources designed to help parents keep up with what their children are doing online.
The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) works to remove illegal material from the internet. If you have found any material you believe to be illegal e.g. child sex abuse images, other obscene material or material which incites racial hatred, you can report it to the IWF.
- A number of specialist websites contain general advice that may be of help to parents. These include
- Other sites can offer parents support on broader issues. These include parentlineplus.org.uk
Last Updated: September 2019