Protecting Children Online
It is vital that parents and carers understand the risks children face when they are online.
From social media to online gaming, the internet plays a major role in children's lives. It is a fantastic source of information and entertainment for children, but unfortunately offenders are increasingly using the internet and technology to harm children.
Here are some useful tips and reminders for your children:
- Not everyone is who they say they are. It is very easy for somebody to hide their real identity online.
- NEVER arrange to meet a person you have 'met' on the internet.
- NEVER give out contact details to someone you have met online such as your phone number or address.
- DO NOT give out personal details that could reveal your age, gender or location, such as your school.
- Change your email address if you suspect someone you have met online has access to it.
- Tell a parent or trusted adult if you’re worried about something or someone you have come across on the internet.
- Only use moderated chat rooms to chat to your friends on, which are monitored to keep you safe.
- Never email a photo of yourself to someone you’ve met online.
- Don't believe everything you read - sometimes people don't tell the truth and will say things to manipulate you.
- Use your common sense! If something seems wrong or makes you feel uncomfortable, you must tell a parent or another trusted adult immediately.
The NSPCC and ChildLine have produced a range of excellent online safety resources for both children and adults which we have been given permission to use.
The Share Aware campaign video links below are aimed predominantly at parents with children aged 8-12 and the ChildLine resources are suitable up to the age of 18.
Lucy and the Boy - short animated video highlighting the risks of sharing personal information with strangers online. This video can be accessed here-
I Saw Your Willy - short video, using an example of a boy that shares a picture of his willy, to show the dangers of sharing private images and how quickly such pictures can spread. This video can be accessed here-
Share Aware guide - a guide produced to empower parents to keep their children safe online. It includes conversation starters to help parents discuss online safety and advice on what to do if things go wrong online. For printed versions of this resource, please see below on additional resources:
NetAware - a comprehensive guide for parents on over 50 of the top social networks, apps and games that young people use. It includes key facts for each site, recommended age ratings, and information about safety features.
Talking to your child about staying safe online - advice and tips on how to have effective conversations with your children about an array of online topics, including cyberbullying, online porn, and sharing images and information.
Parental controls - information on how parental controls can be used to help keep children safe online. Discusses the benefits of parental controls and gives practical advice on how to put them in place.
Sexting: advice for parents - information from the NSPCC, explaining what sexting is, what the risks are, and how to talk to your child about the issues.
Online porn - conversation starters for parents to help them discuss online porn with their children.
Staying safe online - a ChildLine page offering tips to young people on online safety. Includes information on posting online, online communities, and online bullying.
Online grooming - an advice page, looking at what online grooming is, how it happens, and what you can do to keep yourself safe.
Sexting - information on what sexting is, what the risks are, and what you can do if someone sends you a picture or asks for one.
Mobile phone safety - an advice page, focusing on how to use your phone safely. It covers what you should do if you are being bullied through your mobile or being pressured to share your phone number.
Online gaming - ChildLine content, giving advice on how to stay safe when gaming. It discusses voice chat, online bullying, and how to keep a record of abusive messages.
Online porn - fact page, discussing what porn is, whether it’s normal to look at porn, and how porn makes you feel. It also gives advice on what you can do if you feel under pressure after watching porn, have been caught watching porn, or are concerned that you are watching too much porn.
Zipit- ChildLine’s first ever app, designed to help young people stay in control if they are asked to send a naked picture of themselves. It provides witty comebacks and pictures which enable young people to diffuse the situation and stay safe. It is free to download and available on Android, Blackberry and Apple smartphones.
We have joined forces with 02 to provide parents with the skills and knowledge that they need to keep their children safe online. As part of the partnership, we are delivering the following initiatives, which we are happy for you to link to on your website.
O2 NSPCC online safety helpline - parents are able to call the helpline for advice and support on setting up parental controls, adjusting privacy settings, understanding social networks and more. They can access the helpline for free by ringing 0808 800 5002 or can find more information here:
Parent workshops - from January 2016, we will be working with 02 to provide parent online safety workshops across the UK. Parents or organisations including schools or businesses can register their interest and request for workshops to be held in their area on the NSPCC website:
Share Aware parent leaflets – If you require hard copies of our Share Aware leaflets you will be able to order small quantities (Up to 50) by contacting email@example.com. If you would be interested in ordering large numbers at a cost price, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Teaching materials - resources based on the NSPCC animations ‘I saw your willy’ and ‘Lucy and the Boy’, will be available for teachers from November 2015. They will support teachers to deliver online safety lessons to children aged 8-12 and will be available here: