online safety guide

It’s never been more important to make sure you are helping to keep your child safe in the digital world. 

Our simple guide will help put you in control and help you and your children understand dangers of sexting and cyberbullying as they head back to school.

75% of 8-11 year olds have access to a tablet

65% of 8-11 year olds own their own smartphone

The explosion in the use of tablets, the ease of touchscreen technology and the thousands of freely available apps means that today’s parents need more help than ever.


Get in Control of Parental Controls

 If using a smartphone, check the adult bar is set to 18+      

  •  Set parental controls on your home broadband
  •  Control app downloads and purchases
  • Make the games console is safe and secure
  •  Use safety mode on YouTube and Google

Managing Privacy Settings on apps

Despite having minimum age requirements, over half of primary school children aged 7-11 have profiles on social networking sites (Whatsapp/Snapchat/Instagram)

If your child is using these networking sites and respective apps, get up to speed on how they can manage their privacy setting with our ‘How to Guides’.  Visit www.internetmatters.org/back-to-school to download them.


Get familiar with Regular Conversations

  • Start a conversation when your children will be more receptive and engaged, such as on the way from or to school
  •  Ask then for advice on how to do something online and use this as a conversation starter
  • Make sure they know they can come to you if they’re upset by something they’ve seen online
  • Be sensitive and encourage them when they share their online experiences with you
  • If your child talks about an issue with you, stay calm and listen without judging them

Check they know the Rules

  • Don’t share personal information like their phone number or email address online
  • Only talk to real life friends or family if they are on sites with a social media element
  • Talk about online grooming and explain that people they meet online might not be who they say they are
  • Tell them to be a good online friend and not to say nasty things even if it’s just a joke
  • Use secure and legal sites to download music and games
  •  Make sure they check with you before downloading any programs to avoid viruses

Key e-safety issues you may want to discuss

Talking about……Cyberbullying

Prevention is always better than the cure when it comes to this issues.  Help your child understand the consequences of what they share online and encourage them to be ‘kind online’.  If they are the target of cyberbullying, be sure to keep all messages as evidence and block the bullies on social networks.  For more advice about cyberbullying visit www.internetmatters.org/issues/cyberbullying

Talking about……..Sexting

There are many reasons why young people get involved in sexting; exploring sex and relationships or pressure from a partner or friends.  Having an open and honest conversation about it can help them understand the implications of sending a nude image and highlight that it is illegal.  If you child has sent a nude image and it has been put online; report it to CEOP and contact Childline who can help you get all known copies removed from the internet.


Want more help?

For step to step guides and advice go to www.internetmatters.org

To report an issue around a sexual image of a child visit www.ceop.police.uk/Ceop-Report/