Online Safety

Staying Safe Online

  1. Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile number.
  2. Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you’ve put a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it; it’s not just yours anymore.
  3. Keep your privacy settings as high as possible.
  4. Never give out your passwords.
  5. Don’t befriend people you don’t know.
  6. Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do.
  7. Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are.
  8. Think carefully about what you say before you post something online.
  9. Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
  10. If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately.
  11. Be nice to people online.
  12. Take care with what you share.

Danger Signs

  • If the person tries to insist on having your address or phone number.
  • If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else.
  • If the person wants to keep their chats with you secret.
  • If the person tells you that you will get into trouble if you tell an adult what has been going on.
  • If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else.
  • If the person wants you to email them pictures of yourself or use a webcam in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • If the person shares information with you and tells you not to tell anyone else about it.
  • If the person wants to meet you and tells you not to let anyone know.
  • If you find any of these danger signs it’s important that you tell your parents or another adult.

Sexting and youth produced images

What is sexting?

Youth Produced Sexual Imagery (YPSI or “Sexting”) can be defined as images or videos generated by children under the age of 18 that are of a sexual nature or are considered to be indecent. These images may be shared between children and young people and/or adults via a mobile phone, webcam, handheld device or website/app.

It is a crime to take, make, permit to take, distribute, show, possess, possess with intent to distribute, or to advertise indecent images of any person below the age of 18 (Crime and Justice Act 1988, section 160,Protection of Children Act, 1978, section 1,1,a). Professionals should be aware the prosecution or Being prosecuted through the criminal justice system is likely to be upsetting and distressing for children and young people especially if they are convicted and punished. The label of sex offender that would be applied to a child or young person convicted of such offences is regrettable, unjust and clearly detrimental to their future health and wellbeing.

Social Media

Here are our top 10 tips to stay safe on social media:

  1. Use a strong password. The longer it is, the more secure it will be.
  2. Use a different password for each of your social media accounts.
  3. Set up your security answers. This two factor authentication is available for most social media sites.
  4. If you have social media apps on your phone, be sure to password protect your device.
  5. Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request. It could be a fake account.
  6. Click links with caution. Social media accounts are regularly hacked. Look out for language or content that does not sound like something your friend would post.
  7. Be careful about what you share. Don’t reveal sensitive personal information ie: home address, financial information, phone number. The more you post the easier it is to have your identity stolen.
  8. Become familiar with the privacy policies of the social media channels you use and customize your privacy settings to control who sees what.
  9. Protect your computer by installing antivirus software to safeguard. Also ensure that your browser, operating system, and software are kept up to date.
  10. Remember to log off when you’re done.

Advice for Parents and Carerers

Once you are aware of your child’s online behaviour and the potential risks they may face, there are a number of guidelines you can follow to help protect your child.

Engage in open discussion

Promote open and calm discussion about your child’s experiences on the internet. If they fear they will be blamed or punished for their online mistakes they are more likely to hide a problem or try and fix it themselves, potentially making it a lot worse.

If they feel comfortable coming to you with their experiences you will be able to intervene before a problem escalates or they expose themselves to danger.

Talk about the risks

Children start using the internet from a very young age so it is important you discuss potential dangers early and regularly. Although topics such as grooming and sexual content can be uncomfortable to approach it is imperative children are equipped with the tools to protect themselves online.

Have an agreement and establish appropriate behaviour

The behavioural boundaries and sanctions you set for your child must include their use of the internet. You may wish to consider the following:

  • Set time limits for your child’s internet use and incorporate regular screen breaks.
  • Social media profiles are set to private so only trusted contacts can gain access.
  • They only accept friend requests from, or communicate with people they know.
  • Personal contact details are not given out over the internet.
  • They never meet anyone in person from the internet without an accompanying adult.
  • They can come to you for help with any problem.
Parental controls

For primary school children parental controls can be a very effective way of controlling the sites and content your children are able to access. Most computers and internet connected devices have parental controls available. Talk to your manufacturer or service provider to see what restrictions are available.

BT, Sky, Talk Talk and Virgin have video guides to help get you started.

Older children and teens are likely to get around filters or access the internet on personal smart phones or portable devices. It is for these reasons that parental controls cannot be solely relied upon but seen as an addition to the educational guidelines outlined above.

UK Internet Safety

The UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS) was a group of more than 200 organisations drawn from across government, industry, law, academia and charity sectors that work in partnership to help keep children safe online. The UK Council for Child Internet Safety is now the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS)

Useful Contacts

A Complete Guide to Potentially Dangerous Apps for Kids:

Childline: 0800 1111

Bullying UK: 0808 8002222
Samaritans: 01482 323456