Children need guidance in developing their own set of responsible behaviours to keep them safe when online, but equally they should know that, if things go wrong, they may seek help and support from any trusted adult.
E-safety risks have traditionally been classified as those involving content, contact and commerce. When online, for example, children may be exposed to inappropriate content which may upset or embarrass them, or which could potentially lead to their involvement in crime and anti-social behaviour. Some people use the internet to groom children with the ultimate aim of exploiting them sexually,while ICT offers new weapons for bullies who may torment their victims, for instance using websites or text messages.
Safer Internet Day 2018 was celebrated globally on Tuesday 6th February 2018 with the slogan “Create, Connect and Share Respect: A better internet starts with you”.
Children are now citizens born into a digital world, growing up surrounded by and immersed in the technology and tools of the digital age. Children’s access to technology has increased phenomenally in recent years: ICT is embedded in reception classrooms and is a constant and prevalent feature of school life; home access is on the increase,
while connectivity from public locations such as libraries and youth clubs is now commonplace.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets
What social networks are children using?
Facebook is the most popular Social Networking site on the internet. It was launched in 2004 and has an estimated 1.94 billion users. You can find more information about how protect yourself online, how to report issues and how to deactivate your account here.
Instagram is photograph and video sharing application and is particularly popular with children and teenagers. For further guidance of how you can stay safe when using Instagram, how to report any issues or how to deactivate your account click here .
Misical.ly allows users to create, share and discover new videos. It allows users to create short videos of them dancing, performing or lip-syncing to music and share them online via their app. As with other social media sites users can set their profiles to private or public. You can access more information about musical.ly by clicking here .
Snapchat is a messenger app that allows you to send photos, videos, text and drawings. The unique feature of Snapchat is that the message only stays on the recipient’s phone for a matter of seconds. Further guidance on where to find privacy settings, report abuse and deactivate your account can be found here .
Whatsapp is a free messenger app that enables users to send messages, images, video and audio using the internet and is popular amongst children. Further information on how to restrict access to whatsapp can be found here .
Online Gaming has changed the gaming world for our children, they can now play against other gamers at any time. This world can be scary for parents who don’t necessarily access these games themselves. Practical advice for parents can be found here .
It is worth noting that games are subject to similar age ratings as films are. The system for rating games is called the PEGI rating, we would encourage you to familiarise yourself with these ratings which can be found here .
Roblox is becoming an increasingly popular gaming site for children & teenagers. This site is a ‘user-generated’ site, meaning all of the games on the site have been created by users themselves. They have produced a parent’s guide with tips for keeping children safe while using Roblox – this is available here .
Minecraft is another site that is hugely popular with children and teenagers alike but do you know your ‘Griefers’ from your ‘Creepers’? The NSPCC has produced a helpful guidance tool to familiarise parents with the different elements of the game and advise how to protect your children when they are playing, this is available here .
Further Support & Guidance
Parent Zone, a not-for-profit organisation, offers Parents information to help understand the digital world and raise resilient children:
Parent/Carer support from the UK Safer Internet Centre:
Childnet, provides information and advice for parents and carer, including a printable sheet available in 12 languages:
Want to speak to an expert?
Childline and O2 have teamed up to offer a free helpline for parents for any queries you may have regarding online activity, this could just be simple queries about online gaming or parental controls.
The free phone number is 0808 800 5002.
There may be occasions where you need to report incidents that happen while online, this could be due to online bullying or another form of abuse. If you need to make a report to CEOP (who are a command of the National Crime Agency) this can be done here:
If you need to report something to a social networking site or a gaming provider, this could be due to inappropriate language being used on a site you can find the contact details of most of the popular social media and gaming providers by clicking here .