Online Safety

Many children use the internet for education, social and leisure purposes. 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.

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.

  • Setting ground rules about internet use, email and texts. They should learn to take responsibility for their own actions and develop their own judgement
  • Making 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
  • Getting children to report concerns about conversations, messages and behaviours to an adult
  • Encouraging them to share their internet experience and keeping the lines of communication open with the child
  • Ensure that they use a family email when filling in online forms
  • Get children to report bullying immediately
  • Use parental control settings on browsers, search engines and internet security packages
  • Ensure children are viewing only age appropriate materials
  • Making sure children are 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.

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 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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Further information and advice

There are many national organisations and charities that provide helpful 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 and more. Some services are listed below, but there are many more listed on our Organisations that can help webpage .

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.

NSPCC Net Aware

NSPCC and Mumsnet have created 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

A non-profit organisation working 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

An independent non-profit organisation which helps 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.

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) Toolkit

The OPCC have developed this online toolkit to help parents and children understand their online life, digitial footprint and online safety. It pulls together exsisting resources on topics such as online gaming, hate speech, sexting, hate privacy settings and online addiction.


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