Be Safe Online
Keeping Children Safe in a Digital World
Many children and young people use the internet for education, social and leisure purposes. Children are naturally trusting, curious and keen to explore the web but it’s important that they know how
to keep safe.
The internet is always changing and being able to keep up-to-date with technology can be challenging. However, children and young people often need support with problems they experience online.
What are the risks?
Cyberbullying – When someone uses technology, such as the internet or a mobile device, to bully others
Pornography – Access to inappropriate and/or illegal content
Sexting – The use of technology to send intimate text messages including images of partial nudity, sexual images or video. Remember, if someone under the age of 18 creates
an explicit photo or video of themselves, they could be held responsible for creating an image of child abuse. By sending this content to another person, they could be held responsible for the
distribution of an image of child abuse. By receiving this content from another young person, they could be held responsible for possessing an image of child abuse
Social networking – Content uploaded online can be copied, altered and re-posted by anyone and it is very difficult to take back what may be later regretted. Children who create
or post inappropriate, offensive or even illegal content could get into trouble with their school, friends and even the Police
Downloading/file-sharing – Prosecution linked to downloading, sharing or selling content without the permission of those who own the copyright
Gaming – Unwanted contact from others online who may wish to bully or abuse them
Online grooming – An adult or peer with an inappropriate sexual interest in children approaching a child online with the intention of developing a relationship with that child.
This can lead to exploitation and sexual abuse
Premium Rate Content – Financial impact of signing-up to services
What can I do right now? (Taken from: www.childnet.com)
Maintain an open dialogue with your child and encourage them to talk to you about their internet use: for example who they’re talking to, services they’re using, and any issues they may be
Create a family agreement to establish your children’s boundaries, and your expectations, when on the internet
your child strategies to deal with any online content that they are not comfortable with – such as turning off the screen, telling an adult they trust and using online reporting facilities
Consider using filtering software to block unwanted content. In addition to filtering, remember that discussion with your child, and involvement in their internet use, are both effective ways to
educate them about the internet
Encourage your children to ‘think before you post.’ Online actions can impact not only yourself but the lives of others. Content posted privately online can be publicly shared by others, and may
remain online forever
Understand the law. Some online behaviour may break the law, for example when downloading or sharing content with others.
Familiarise yourself with the privacy settings and reporting features available on popular sites and services
your child is being bullied online, save all available evidence and know where to report the incident, for example to the school, service provider, or the police if the law has been broken
Familiarise yourself with the age ratings for games and apps which can help to indicate the level and suitability of the content. Also see if online reviews are available from other parents as these
may be helpful
up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online
Encourage your children to use nicknames (where possible) instead of their full name online, to protect their personal information, and create strong passwords for every account
up a PIN or password on devices to help protect personal information