Online Safety - Guidance for Parents
The internet is undoubtedly one of the greatest ever inventions and is an extremely useful tool for entertainment, staying in touch, sharing memories as well as finding out anything and everything. However, the internet is also full of danger which children need to be safeguarded from.
Keeping up to date with what your children are doing online can seem very daunting. Technology is constantly advancing and sometimes parents feel that their children know more about the internet than they do.
The guidance and links below are designed to help parents and carers to keep their children as safe as possible when online. Our best single bit of advice is to be curious about what your children are doing online, take an interest in their activities and regularly check what they are doing.
Helpful Hints and Tips
- Check that your internet service provider provides parental controls so you can add a layer of security for your children and filter out inappropriate content. The website links below also contain advice about this. If your child has a mobile phone check the settings on this too
- Talk to your child about online safety and take an interest in their activity. Especially encourage them to talk to you about anything which is worrying them online
- Keep online passwords safe and secure and change them often. Don’t let any of your networks be open or discoverable
- Agree ground rules for safe use of the internet at home. For example limit the amount of time children can spend online in any one go and restrict access at bedtime
- Be App aware. Many devices require downloading an app. You should check the privacy settings and permissions of any apps you download, as well as the product itself
- Be device aware. Make sure your security settings include all internet enabled devices including smart TV’s and game consoles
- Report any concerns you have. The CEOP website below is full of really helpful information.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command website (CEOP) is part of the National Police’s response to internet safety. The website includes a function to instantly report any concerns about online behaviour
Think U Know Website
Thinkuknow is an education programme from the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command. Their website is full of really helpful guidance for parents, including action you can take if you are concerned about your child online
Parental Controls Support
These controls are designed to help parents and carers manage their child's online activities. There are various types, some of which are free but others which can be bought. However, nothing is totally fool proof so they shouldn't replace the need for you to support and advise your child using the internet.
Social Media Library
The above resource provides an updated list of 183 gaming and social media apps commonly used by young people. The list includes the names and descriptions of the apps (updated April 2018).
NSPCC Net Aware Website
This is the digital safety website from the NSPCC. It contains a lot of very up to date information including guidance about the latest apps.
Net Aware: Apps, Sites & Games Library
A list of the latest apps and popular websites including a simple summary.
UK Safer Internet Centre
The UK’s safer internet centre is a government backed hub of advice, including help and advice for parents and carers.
Internet Matters Website
The Internet Matters Website offers a number of useful guides about online safety for parents and carers.
Gaming: What Parents Need to Know
Understand the different elements of gaming and what you can do to support your child and keep them safe if gaming online.