Children spend a lot of time online, which is completely normal and mostly harmless. But children do also face risks such as cyberbullying or seeing content that's inappropriate. That's why it's important for children and young people to know how to stay safe online. Whether you're unsure about what happens online or are up to speed with new technology, it's important that you talk to your child about staying safe.
Know what your children are doing online and who they are talking to. Ask them to teach you to use any applications you have never used. Keeping the computer in a family room means that you can share your child’s online experience – and that they are less likely to act inappropriately (i.e. via webcam).
Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends — personal information includes their messenger ID, email address, mobile number and any pictures of themselves, their family or friends. If your child publishes a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it. Remind them that anyone may be looking at their images and one day a future employer could! If your child receives spam/junk email & texts, remind them never to believe them, reply to them or use them.
It’s not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don’t know. They won’t know what they contain — it could be a virus, or worse — an inappropriate image or film. Help your child to understand that some people lie online and therefore it’s better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
"What would you do if this happened…?"
"Remember that not everyone is who they say they are online."
"Keep your personal information safe, and other people’s too."
"Be respectful to others online."
"Think before you post."
"Remember to ask if it’s okay."
"Remember not everything is true online."
"The things other people post online might not always show what their life is really like."
"Recognise how going online makes you feel and take a break when you need to."
Always keep communication open for a child to know that it’s never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable. Teach young people how to block someone online and how to report them if they feel uncomfortable.
The leaflets below give more advice on keeping your children safe online:
We would also like to emphasise that any photos or videos taken are for your own personal use and not to be shared online.
Please CLICK HERE to see our 'Guide to the Use of Images online'.
Mobile phones must not be brought into school. Should there be a particular reason why a mobile would be needed on the way to and from school, please arrange an appointment with your child's teacher to discuss this. Please work with us on this to help keep our children safe online!
- Help your children to understand that they should never give out personal details to online friends they do not know offline.
- Explain to your children what information about them is personal: i.e. email address, mobile number, school name, sports club, arrangements for meeting up with friends and any pictures or videos of themselves, their family or friends. Small pieces of information can easily be pieced together to form a comprehensive insight in to their lives and daily activities.
- Make your children aware that they need to think carefully about the information and pictures they post on their profiles. Inform them that once published online, anyone can change or share these images of them.
- It can be easy to forget that the internet is not a private space, and as result sometimes young people engage in risky behaviour online. Advise your children not to post any pictures, videos or information on their profiles, or in chat rooms, that they would not want a parent or carer to see.
- If your child receives spam or junk email and texts, remind them never to believe their contents, reply to them or use them.
- It's not a good idea for your child to open files that are from people they don't know. They won't know what they contain—it could be a virus, or worse - an inappropriate image or film.
- Help your child to understand that some people lie online and that therefore it's better to keep online mates online. They should never meet up with any strangers without an adult they trust.
- Always keep communication open for a child to know that it's never too late to tell someone if something makes them feel uncomfortable.
Useful Web links