Safety - online - Better Lives Healthy Futures

Safety – online

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As a parent or carer, it’s important to be aware of issues associated with internet, such as child abuse, cyberbullying, computer viruses, identity theft and more

The internet is part of everyday life. Your child may use the internet for their homework, to call family, share photographs with friends, watch videos, or play online games with others.

To keep your child safe from harmful content and ensure they develop habits to enable them to stay safe online follow these top tips.

Top tips for keeping your child safe online

Always check that your settings are private and use parental controls so children cannot access age-inappropriate content, purchase apps or change passwords and privacy settings.

Model good online behaviour – don’t share your address or school information online and never share log in details (apart from a child with a parent/ carer)

Set some rules and boundaries for use of the Internet and technology and ensure children are only active on age-appropriate accounts that are suitably monitored by an adult (agree this with your child)

Talk about risks and dangers – there’s no need to be explicit or scare your child, but make sure they are aware that there are dangers from cyberbullying or talking to strangers online.

Explore the online world together – it can help your child to develop basic IT skills if they observe how you use computers and other devices to access browsers and email accounts.

Encourage children not to share too much information online and to be aware that once they post or share an image, video or message, people who are not their friends could see it.

Teach children its ok to talk to friends online but never to talk to strangers – parents/carers should know everyone personally on their friends list. In their innocence, children take it for granted that people they meet online are who they say they are. Forums and chatrooms can be dangerous places, and research indicates they are a hunting ground for paedophiles and those wanting to harm children.

Teach children to speak to a grown up if someone says something that makes them feel scared, worried or unsure. Tell them not to delete messages until a grown-up has seen them.

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Further information

Keeping children safe online

The NSPCC's website has detailed information on a wide range of topics including sexting, nude images, inappropriate or explicit content, porn, livestreaming, video apps and online games.

Keeping children safe on social media

This practical guide from the UK Government helps you understand and minimise the risks when your child uses social media.

Getting the most out of the internet

How to help your children get the most out of using the internet and what to do if you have a concern about their safety online.

Net Aware

The Net Aware website from O2 and the NSPCC offers a guide to social networks, apps and games - all the sorts of things your child might use online that you may not know about!

Related topics

Bullying – online / cyberbullying

Bullying which happens online or via smartphones or tablets is known as cyberbullying
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Stranger danger

It’s important that children know how to keep themselves safe in a variety of situations, not just with strangers.
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