Children being inquisitive and taking risks are both natural parts of growing up. However, technology is changing the way young people can do this.
Below is information to help parents support their children to be safe online. Much of the information was taken from the excellent CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) site.
There’s a viral scare online. What should I do?
Reports of online scares or challenges encouraging harmful or suicidal behaviours can be alarming and confusing. Click here to look at how you can speak to your child about scares and challenges and how to respond if they have seen one.
Activity for children
BBC Bitesize has a great quiz to raise awareness of e-safety to young people. It can be found here.
Be involved in your child’s online life
For many of today’s young people, there is no line between the online and offline worlds. Young people use the internet to socialise and grow and, just as 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 the online world they are more likely to approach you if they need support.
Keep up-to-date with your child’s development online
Be inquisitive and interested in the new gadgets and sites that your child is using. It’s important that as your child learns more, so do you.
Emphasise that not everyone is who they say they are
Ensure that your child is fully aware of the importance of never sharing personal details about themselves with people that they only know online, or on sites where the information can be picked up or seen by people who may be unknown to them. Make sure your child knows never to meet up with someone they only know online. People might not always be who they say they are. If such a request if ever made to them encourage them to tell yourself or another trusted adult (e.g. family member. teacher) immediately.
Know what to do if something goes wrong
Just as in the offline world, you want to help your child when they need it. See the information above for important guidance on when to report any problem. School, the police and CEOP are all avenues that can be taken to seek further support for reporting a problem and helping to keep your child safe online.
Tools to keep my child safe
Updated: September 2018
Review date: August 2019