By Maisy Watkins, Child Safety Online Project Officer
Children and young people live seamlessly across the online and offline worlds. Whether using social media or apps to stay connected, playing online games or accessing the internet through mobile phones, computers, laptops and tablets – being online is an integral part of their lives.
Why is online safety important?
The internet and new technologies provide opportunities for children and young people’s learning and growth, but being online can also expose them to new types of risk. This includes the risks of online abuse and grooming. Children and young people may also see harmful or inappropriate content, whether they come across this intentionally or accidentally.
Tips to stay safe online
We believe that going online should be a positive experience for all children. Parents and carers play a vital role in helping children and young people understand how to stay safe online. But online safety can also be a daunting issue, especially as it can sometimes feel that technology is developing faster than you can keep up. So it’s important that professionals working or volunteering with children and young people support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.
The NSPCC website has lots of information to help parents and carers feel informed, confident and happy about helping children stay safe online - including six top tips to support children's online wellbeing.
How can professionals support parents to talk about online safety?
We have a range of guides that you can share with parents and carers to help them have conversations with their children about how to stay safe online.
You can also help parents and carers understand more about online safety by:
- including resources and news in your newsletters, handouts, by email and on social media
- sharing your online safety policies and procedures
- holding online safety sessions for parents and carers
- showing parents the online safety resources you use with children and young people.
You’ll find more advice for parents and carers on the NSPCC website including information about social media, online gaming, parental controls, sharing nudes, livestreaming, harmful content and online reporting.
Children and young people can access online safety information and advice on the Childline website.