As a parent you’ll know how important the internet is to children – they use it to learn, play, socialise and express themselves. It’s a highly creative place of amazing opportunities. But the technology children use every day can seem a bit daunting and you might worry about the risks your child can face online – such as bullying, contact from strangers or the possibility of them seeing illegal or inappropriate content.
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
- government guidance on staying safe online including parental controls, fact-checking information, communicating with family and friends while social distancing is in place and taking regular breaks from the screen
- Thinkuknow is the education programme from the National Crime Agency (NCA) proving age-appropriate resources for children and support for parents
- Parent Info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations
- Childnet provides a tool kit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
- Internet Matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
- LGfL provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including 6 top tips to keep primary aged children safe online
- Net Aware provides support for parents and carers from the NSPCC and O2, providing a guide to social networks, apps and games
- Let’s Talk About It provides support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
- UK Safer Internet Centre provides tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services
Age-appropriate practical support on reporting concerns is available from:
- Childline – for support
- UK Safer Internet Centre – to report and remove harmful online content
- CEOP – for advice on making a report about online abuse
Top Ten Tips for Staying Safe Online
1 ) Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.
2) Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it, it’s not just yours anymore.
3) Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
4) Never give out your passwords
5) Don’t befriend people you don’t know
6) Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do
7) Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
8) Think carefully about what you say before you post something online
9) Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude
10) If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.