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.

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.


Sexting (sometimes called sending nudes, dirties or ‘pic for pic’) 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.

The NSPCC offers advice for parents, from inappropriate and sexual behaviour online, including nudes, to online games to parental controls. Their guides help you make informed decisions and help keep your child safe online. Visit the NSPCC for information on keeping children safe online.

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.

The Lurking Trolls Website 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 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 & carers on helping their children stay safe online at home.

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Other useful links

Social Media checklists provides a range of downloadable easy to read booklets that guide you through profile settings in social media platforms. This includes guides for all the major social network platforms young people use such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Roblox, and TikTok.

The government also provides guidance on support for parents and carers to keep children safe online .

UK Safer Internet Centre

The UK Safer Internet Centre is a partnership of three leading organisations: Childnet International , Internet Watch Foundation  and SWGfL  , with one mission - to promote the safe and responsible use of technology for young people. You can find online safety tips, advice and resources to help children and young people safe online

Internet Matters

Get 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.


Safe4Me website provides information and resources to help educate, guide and support children and young people in keeping safe.