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. Links to some of the best are listed below.
The school's internet provider (SWGfL) has produced some handy guides:
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.
Report Harmful Content
Harmful content is anything online which causes a person distress or harm.
Using the button below you can report harmful content on social networking sites, gaming platforms, apps and streaming services. The Report Harmful Content (RHC) service will check the reports you make against a website's rules. If they find that the content has broken the site's rules they will speak to the site about taking the content down.
Children under 13 years of age are encouraged to tell an adult that they trust about what has happened and to ask for their help in reporting this by going through the how we can help resource together.
RHC also offers advice and support on what to do if experiencing or witnessing harm online.
Reporting to RHC
Reports can be made 24/7 through the online reporting forms and helpline practitioners will review and respond to reports within 3 days between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Reports can be made to RHC by anyone over the age of 13.
There are also 3 helplines and to be sure you're getting the right support take a look at the Helpline flowchart to find out who can best support you.