Children are growing up in a world with a bigger range of online activities than ever before and it is sometimes very hard for both children and adults to know how to stay safe.
Most parents will want to reduce the risks to their children, and remembering to set parental controls can reduce the risks to children, and reduce the risk to parents when children accidentally spend online money! Online safety is not just about protecting children from some of the dangers of the internet, it is also about helping them manage their use of technology and most of the parental controls allow adults to set a maximum time for the use of a device or app.
Internet Matters is a site paid for by many British companies. It has a lot of good advice on adding parental controls as well as on most aspects of online safety. Parental controls will only help keep children safe. The best safety feature that a child has is their parent or carer. Take the time to talk to your child about the apps and games they are using and don’t be afraid to say no sometimes!
To find out what children are doing and the risks they may face, please download the Primary School Guide.
The website has guidance for parents of children of different ages. You can click here to find the information that is more relevant to your child:
To help you to share your children’s moments safely, you can download Sharenting-kids-milestone-moments-safely.
To help children to understand what is good behaviour online, please read Internet Manners.
Get safety advice from NSPCC. Teach your child to be ‘share aware’!
The range of online apps changes on a regular basis and the NSPCC have a site called Net Aware. This provides unbiased up-to-date information on current apps, games and social networking sites, along with advice to parents about dealing with issues.
The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002. They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.
Think u know
ThinkUKnow is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency. It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues. It also has lots of games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.
For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue. LGfL have produced a lovely free video which has some great advice and a very catchy song!
Many children will at times suffer from online bullying. It is really important that they have someone they can talk to and know that it is not acceptable. Most apps and sites will have systems inn place that allow bullying to be reported. Your child’s school may be able to help.
Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 for advice on anything that is worrying them.
Since 2015 it has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child. (This is Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015). If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device. This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved. The Police can be contacted by phone or from the ThinkUKnow website.
UK Safer Internet Centre
This website has resources for parents and carers to help keep children safe online, including guides on safety tools for social networks and parental controls offered by internet service providers, advice on screen time, and ideas for ‘conversation starters’.
Child Net has lots of information to help parents to keep children safe online, including a section about ‘hot topics’, including digital wellbeing, screen time, and cyberbullying. Please read about Supporting-Young-People-Online
Parent Zone – Be Internet Legends
This NEW hub is a one-stop shop for families for everything to do with digital parenting. Find out how to help children to become safer and more confident online by encouraging them to follow a simple code: Sharp, Alert, Secure, Kind and Brave.
Click here to be Internet Legends!
Please read a Government publication with guidance for parents and carers of children who are using social media: Online Safety Social Media Guidance
Many children like to watch videos on YouTube. Please download our YouTube Safety Factsheet to find out how to avoid inappropriate content. The minimum age to create a YouTube account in order to upload videos is 13 years old. Please read our YouTube advice and go to their Help Centre for further guidance.
The Ask about Games website provides information about video games and guidance on how to set parental controls on games consoles to help ensure that play is safe for children.
You can also download our list of the PEGI age ratings here:
Click on the image to see a parents’ guide to ‘Fortnite‘.
This is a chat service designed for gamers.
Maisie has written a really good balanced argument using Purple Mash about whether children should be able to use social media. Click here to read what Maisie has said.
As of May 2018, WhatsApp’s minimum age of use is 16 years old.
Help and Advice
If you would like to talk to someone else, you can go to the Advice Help and Report Centre on the CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) website: Safety Centre
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.