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Online Safety

Children are naturally trusting, curious and keen to explore the web. Keeping up with and supervising children’s online activity can be challenging, especially when they have their own computers, smartphones, tablets and game consoles or they are in other people’s homes.Understand the risks yourself and plan ahead before allowing children safe access to the internet.

The Risks

  • Inappropriate contact:  from people who may wish to abuse, exploit or bully them
  • Inappropriate conduct:  because of their own or others’ online behaviour, such as the personal information they make public. They may also become either targets or perpetrators of cyberbullying
  • Inappropriate content:  Being able to access sexually explicit, racist, violent, extremist or other harmful material
  • Commercialism:  Directing aggressive advertising and marketing material at children
  • Inappropriate access:  Children gaining access to your own personal information stored on your computer
  • Misinformed use:  Children enabling viruses or spyware by careless or misinformed use of your computer

There are several ways to safeguard children online. Undoubtedly the most effective way is to educate them from an early age about the risks they may encounter when online, what these risks are, how to spot them and what action to take so that they can have a safe online presence and build their resilience.

  • Set ground rules  about internet use, email and texts. They should learn to take responsibility for their own actions and develop their own judgement
  • Make children aware  that people online may not be who they say they are
  • Children should  keep personal details private
  • They must never  meet someone they have only met online without a trusted adult present
  • Get your children  to report concerns about conversations, messages and behaviours to you or another trusted adult
  • Encourage  them to share their internet experience with you and keep the lines of communication open with your child
  • Ensure  that they use a family email when filling in online forms
  • Get children  to report bullying immediately
  • Use parental control  settings on your browser, search engine and internet security package
  • Make sure  your child is viewing only age appropriate materials
  • Make sure  your child is aware of the law around sexting
  • Block pop-ups  and spam emails
  • Always sit  with younger children if they are online
  • Be aware  for any unusual or secretive behaviour from your child when they are using the internet

Consider creating a  Family Agreement , setting clear expectations and boundaries


Sexting is when someone shares sexual, naked or semi-naked images or videos of themselves or others, or sends sexually explicit messages. They can be sent using mobiles, tablets, smartphones, laptops - any device that allows you to share media and messages.

Sexting can be seen as harmless, but creating or sharing explicit images of a child is illegal, even if the person doing it is a child. A young person is breaking the law if they:

  • take an explicit photo or video of themselves or a friend
  • share an explicit image or video of a child, even if it’s shared between children of the same age
  • possess, download or store an explicit image or video of a child, even if the child gave their permission for it to be created.

Sexting may also be called:

* trading nudes *
* dirties *
* pic for pic *

Beware the Lurking Trolls

Beware the Lurking Trolls is a campaign designed to help protect children from online harm. It centres around a storybook  Peril of the Possessed Pets  and is used in primary schools with children aged 7 to 11 years and pupils in Special Schools at an appropriate time.

There’s a whole host of tyrannical trolls for children to meet who will help them learn about some of the hurtful and harmful issues they may encounter online – such as bullying, self-image, exploitation and fake news.

The campaign aims to help children develop the skills they need to recognise these issues and have an understanding of how to overcome them, so that they will be safe online in the future.

It is hoped that by introducing these topics in a fun and accessible format, it will help build children's awareness and be a preventative measure to help build their resilience and knowledge of what to do should they encounter them.

All Primary Schools, Special Schools and local libraries across the Island have been provided with copes of the trolls books, cartoons and accompanying teaching resources. They will be able to access further online resources and cartoons. A Troll Costume will be held at Newport Library to be booked out by schools for events and to promote online safety. 

The website www.lurkingtrolls.com has a host of fun and informative resources for children giving them more information about the Trolls, how to recognise behaviours/issues online and advice on what to do in response. The website includes a 'I need help' section for children, signposting them to organisations such as Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP) and Child Line so they can report and find help for any issues they experience when they're online at home. It also includes information and advice for parents &and carers on helping their children stay safe online at home.

Further information and advice

There are many national organisations and charities providing lots of advice on online safety, such as how safe certain sites are, how to set parental controls, game ratings explained, chat safety, app info and reviews. Some services are listed below, but there are more listed on our Organisations that can help page. .

Childnet international have online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people stay safe online


Internet Matters provide expert support and practical tips to help children benefit from connected technology and the internet safely and smartly. From age-specific online safety checklists to guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices, your'll find a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world.

Net Aware is a simple guide to the most popular apps based on the experiences of parents and children. Each app has been given a rating for things such as how appropriate the content is, the privacy settings and what the average minimum age should be for children signing up to each one.

Childnet international   work with others to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. They have lots of information and resources to help you support your child to have a happy and safe online experience.

Common Sense Media  is an independent non-profit organisation helping families make smart media choices, offering a large library of independent age-based and educational ratings and review of movies, games, apps, TV shows, websites, books and music.