Starting a conversation with a child about online safety
The most important activity you can undertake to help a child to stay safe online is to have a conversation.
- reassure them that you're interested in their life, offline and online. Recognise that they'll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends.
- ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them.
- be positive but also open about anything you're worried about. You could say "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here."
- ask them if they're worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you.
- ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are.
- listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don't think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
- ask your child what they think's okay for children of different ages so they feel involved in the decision making.
- Become a friend or follower on the social media account that the child has signed up to.
If you have been a victim of sexual online abuse or you're worried this is happening to someone you know, you can report it on this site.
Children and young people can be groomed online or in the real world, by a stranger or by someone they know. If you're worried about a child, the NSPCC have advice to help which can be accessed via the link below
Fortnight is an online game which has received a great deal of media attention. Below is an advice sheet to help parents to understand and limit the potential risks associated with this game.
The use of social media is widespread amongst pupils in primary schools despite a minimum age of 13 being stipulated by most providers. Below is a short leaflet which outlines the key issues.
Parents wishing to support their children in using the internet safely will find lots of very useful tips and information on this site.
Thinkuknow offer a range of information about keeping yourself or a child you know safe from child sexual exploitation.
For 5 to 7 year olds go to:
For 8 to 10 year olds go to:
For 11 to 13 year olds go to:
Below, is a very well-written magazine on the theme of online safety. If you find it of interest, you are able to subscribe to receive new issues by following this link: