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:
- by the National Crime Agency - Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (NCA-CEOP) - resources for parents and carers and children of all ages to help keep children safe online
- has developed to begin a conversation about online safety, as well as
- is a collaboration between Parent Zone and NCA-CEOP - support and guidance for parents and carers related to the digital world from leading experts and organisations
- National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) - to help keep children safe online
- - tips and advice for parents and carers to keep children safe online - you can also
- and , created by South West Grid for Learning in partnership with Internet Matters - support and tailored advice for young people with additional learning needs and their parents or carers
- explains how the British Board of Film Classification rates content, and gives parents advice on choosing online content well
Child sexual abuse
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.
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 (0808 800 5000) for support and advice if you have concerns about your own or another child’s safety. The also provides information on the signs of child abuse and neglect
- by NCA-CEOP has developed activities to support your child’s safe use of the internet
- the Lucy Faithfull Foundation’s website has advice on how to help protect children from child sexual abuse including a
- if you see sexual images or videos of someone under 18 online, report it anonymously to the who can work to remove them from the web and help to identify victims and survivors
- you can contact 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 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
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.
- - resources and government advice for parents and carers on keeping young people safe from extremism, including online
- - support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
- any member of the public can - more information about what to report and what happens when you do can be found on the
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.
- on how to set up parental controls so that you can control what content your child can access online
- the has guidance on how to switch on family-friendly filters to prevent age-inappropriate content being accessed on devices in your home
- the 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 . 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.
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.
Support for children