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Parenting guide to online and digital safety

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Kids are spending more and more time online, so as parents you need advice to help keep them safe.

You may feel out of touch with Snapchat and Instagram. Do you know who they are chatting to online, what they are uploading, who they are gaming with?  What kids are into online changes fast and as parents it can be hard to keep up with new apps and games.

It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online or who they might be speaking to. 

There are lots of resources that can help you navigate what can at times feel like an ever changing and complex online world.

Talking about Online Safety

Talking regularly to your child, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you. 

  • reassure them that you're interested in their life, offline and online. Recognise that they'll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends.
  • ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them.
  • be positive but also open about anything you're worried about. You could say "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here."
  • ask them if they're worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you.
  • ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are.
  • listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or sites you don't think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
  • discuss with your child about age appropriate sites and content and the age restrictions websites and social media platforms have. Be clear about when they can access Snapchat and Instagram for example.


Tips for Online Safety

Agree some rules about how they spend their time online

Set up parental controls on your child’s device

Help them master the basics

Look out for signs they might need some support

Find the right time to talk about online safety

Useful Resources

Gaming advice on online gaming and how to do it safely 

Live Streaming and Video Apps  using live streaming platforms and video apps safely

Parental Controls advice on setting up parental controls on devices

Under 5's online  keeping young children safe online 

Jessie & Friends  fun animation videos for children and parents about online safety

Childline  use childline message board to talk to others about cyber bullying

Cyber Bullying  advice on cyber bullying

Sexting and sending nudes advice on sharing sexual images and texts online

Instant Messaging  guide to the latest trends

Parent Zone  lots of advice and tips for parents

Removing a nude image shared online  follow the steps to get your image or video removed from the internet. 

Internet Matters  tips to help parents keep their kids safe online

UK Safer Internet

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

SWGfL Online Resources

a charity ensuring children benefit from technology, free from harm

Location Settings

parent's guide on apps and games location settings and switching them off