Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:
• Search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing
• Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and YouTube
• Use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
• Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
• Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
• Chat with other people through online games, BBM (Blackberry Messenger), game consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp
When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family. There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your child safe online.
- Inappropriate content, including pornography
- Ignoring age restrictions
- Friending or communicating with people they don’t know
- Grooming and sexual abuse
- Sharing personal information
- Gambling or running up debts
Talking to your child is one of the best ways to keep them safe. You can also use parental controls on social networks, online games and browsers and on both hardware and software that can filter or monitor what your child can see.
Preventing your children from using the internet or mobile phones won't keep them safe in the long run, so it's important to have conversations that help your child understand how to stay safe and what to do if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable
• Have the conversation early and often
• Explore online together
• Know who your child is talking to online
• Set rules and agree boundaries
• Make sure that content is age appropriate
• Use parental controls to filter, restrict, monitor or report content.
• Check they know how to use privacy settings and reporting tools
There is a lot of information on e-safety on the internet. There are many websites that give advice about the risks to children of using the internet and how to minimize these risks. Some of the best are listed below.
I have concerns, how should I report them?
Has someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. You can report it below.
Remember if you need immediate help call 999.