Digital safety

Online safety at home

Technology has changed the way that children interact with the world. While technology can provide opportunities to learn and express creativity, it can also present risks.

Here are 4 things you can do to help keep your child safe online:

Use the opportunity to chat with your child

With families spending more time at home, now is a great time to continue to chat with your child about how they are using online technology.

Ask them what they are doing online, and what they like and dislike about the apps and services they use. If it helps, discuss some ‘ground rules’.

Explore safety resources together

There are several websites that contain either educational resources or parental guidance to support learning about e-safety.

‘Thinkuknow' is an online safety education programme from the National Crime Agency. Many of our schools use this resource to support their teaching about e-safety.

Every two weeks, ‘Thinkuknow release a new set of simple online safety home activities to share with children and young people between the ages of 3 and 16. Use these activities to talk about safety online in your home. 

Have a look at the parents and carers help sheets on the website for further online safety advice

The links below also provide useful resources and support services: 

UK Safer Internet website  
Net Aware website 
Safeguarding and online safety resources website
Childnet International website
Parent Info from ParentZone website

Remind children to report anything worrying

It's important that children and young people always know where to go if they come across something that worries them or makes them feel uncomfortable online. 

This is especially important during this time when other trusted sources of support such as school staff may not be as easily accessible. Children may not have as many opportunities to talk confidentially to their friends. 

To help, you could: 

  • encourage them to speak to you or another adult immediately if they have any worries or concerns 
  • remind them that they can always call Childline on 0800 1111 if they have any worries, something that has happened online, stress about being stuck at home, arguments with siblings or anxiety about Coronavirus 
  • make sure they know that they can always report to CEOPif they are worried about sexual abuse online. Young people can also report to CEOP if they are worried about a friend.   

The best thing you can do is make sure they feel they could talk to you if they were ever worried.

Set up or review your parental controls

Setting parental controls can be a quick and effective tool to help protect your children online, and should be installed on all devices that children use. For advice and support in setting these controls, please read our Thinkuknow article. 

Helpful links

Organisation

Age range

Description

Cost

Parent Info from CEOP and Parent Zone 

All ages Parent Info provides support and e-safety guidance from leading experts and organisations Free
Childnet International All ages A non-profit organisation working with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children Free
Thinkuknow 4 to 18 years Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation protecting children both online and offline Free
UK Safer Internet Centre All ages Online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online Free
LGfL All ages Resources and online safety guidance for parents Free
Net-Aware All ages A guide to social networks, apps and games Free
Internet Matters All ages Screen time guidance for parents and children Free
BBC Good Food 5 to 12 years Activities that parents can share with their children to encourage calmness and wellbeing Free