Online Safety – Advice for Parents

Keeping your children safe online

As you would protect your child in the real world, you will want to make sure that they are safe in the ‘virtual’ online world of the internet.

Like learning to cross the road, online safety skills are skills for life. If your child understands the risks and can make sensible and informed choices, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe while using it – particularly from people who might seek to harm them.

You can make sure your child is safe online by using technical parental controls and creating your own rules. These should cover which websites they can visit and how long they can spend online. You should also stress the importance of keeping personal information safe.

Do: 

  • Make sure you can see what your child is looking at – keep internet access in family rooms
  • Be an online friend – join their social network sites
  • Take time to go online with your child – ask them to show you what they look at
  • Make sure each child has a user account – that way you can control what they have access to
  • Encourage your children to tell you if they feel uncomfortable, upset or threatened by anything they see online
  • Limit the time your children can spend online
  • Install security products that allow you to block certain sites

Don’t:

  • Let personal details such as your child’s name, age and location appear on view to the general public
  • Let older children use the internet in their room with the door closed

Webcams

Webcams are a primary route for offenders to groom children and encourage them to do things they would never normally do.

Once images are given by email or webcam they remain on the internet and cannot be retrieved.

Make sure you know when and why your child is using a webcam.

Further advice is available via the CEOP (Child Exploitation& Online Protection Centre) website