E-Safety

There is a huge amount of information out there to support parents with keeping their children safe online but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming to know where to start. The weblinks below are widely considered to be among the clearest and easiest to use; we hope that they are some help to you.

In school we continue to encourage children to be ‘upstanding’ by questioning poor behaviour that they come across online just as they would in their offline world. At home we ask you to support your children by setting and reviewing privacy settings carefully and reporting anything they come across that upsets or offends. If you have a question about keeping your child safe online or how to use parental controls the NSPCC have a specific free helpline 0808 8005002.

Latest online safety advice from the Government:

Keep your child safe online

While there are huge benefits to being online to stay connected to family and friends during this period, the government recognises many parents feel concerned about the activities and content their children are accessing. This guidance outlines resources to help keep children safe from different risks online and where to go to get support and advice.

It is important to have regular conversations about staying safe online and to encourage children to speak to you if they come across something worrying online.

Talk to your child about the importance of creating a safe online environment, including keeping any log-in details and passwords safe.

These resources will support you to talk to your child about a range of online safety issues, set up home filtering in a child-friendly way and set up age-appropriate parental controls on digital devices:

Child sexual abuse

If you are concerned call 999 or report it to the NCA-CEOP.

If your child has been a victim of child sexual abuse – online or offline – and you believe they are in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for the police. The police will continue to respond to emergency calls.

If you are concerned that your child has been a victim of online sexual abuse or you are worried about the way someone has been communicating with your child online, you can report it to NCA-CEOP.

These resources provide information and support for parents and carers on what to do if you’re worried about child sexual abuse:

  • you can contact the NSPCC helpline (0808 800 5000) for support and advice if you have concerns about your own or another child’s safety. The Together, we can tackle child abuse campaign also provides information on the signs of child abuse and neglect
  • Thinkuknow by NCA-CEOP has developed activities to support your child’s safe use of the internet
  • the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s Parents Protect website has advice on how to help protect children from child sexual abuse including a Harmful Sexual Behaviour Prevention Toolkit
  • if you see sexual images or videos of someone under 18 online, report it anonymously to the Internet Watch Foundation who can work to remove them from the web and help to identify victims and survivors
  • you can contact Stop It Now! for information and advice if you have concerns about someone’s behaviour, including children who may be displaying concerning sexual behaviour
  • you can contact The Marie Collins  Foundation help@mariecollinsfoundation.org.uk for support, including advice and individual counselling, for your child if they have been subjected to online sexual abuse - support is also offered to parents and carers

Radicalising content

If you are concerned that any family member, friend or loved one is being radicalised, you can call the police or 101 to get advice or make a Prevent referral, so that they can get safeguarding support.

Support is tailored to the individual and works in a similar way to safeguarding processes designed to protect people from gangs, drug abuse, and physical and sexual exploitation.

Receiving support through Prevent is voluntary, confidential and not a form of criminal sanction.

If you need more help, you can also contact your local authority safeguarding team.

Cyberbullying

If you are concerned about cyberbullying, you can find government advice and information about how you can protect your child and tackle it if it happens.

Age-inappropriate content and parental controls

If you have downloaded new apps or bought new technology to help stay connected at this time, remember to review and adjust privacy and safety settings if you or your child is signing up to a new online service.

  • Internet Matters has step-by-step guides on how to set up parental controls so that you can control what content your child can access online
  • the UK Safer Internet Centre has guidance on how to switch on family-friendly filters to prevent age-inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home
  • the NSPCC has more information for parents or carers with concerns about their child seeking inappropriate or explicit content online

Apps to help children stay safe online

The BBC has a website and app called Own It. The website helps children navigate their online lives, and the free smartphone app comes with a special keyboard which can intervene with help and support in the moments that children need it the most. It can be downloaded for free in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

SafeToNet is an app for parents to help them protect their children from online risks like cyberbullying and sexting, while respecting their child’s rights to privacy. The SafeToNet Foundation is providing UK families with free-for-life access to SafeToNet during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Mental health

If you are worried about your child’s mental health, the government has published guidance for parents and carers on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

If you are worried that someone you know is suicidal, including your child, Samaritans provides advice on how you can support others.

Support for children

If your child is worried or needs support, they can get advice and support from Childline (0800 1111) or download the ‘For Me’ app.