The internet has huge educational and social benefits for children and young people. It is used in schools and colleges as well as being an important tool for homework, and many children go online for entertainment or to socialise with friends. However, there are also potential risks to using the internet that you and your child should be aware of.
- Coming across disturbing information or images.
- Children can be the victims of online bullying.
- Unwittingly opening or sharing files that can expose your family to damaging virus software.
- People accessing personal information.
- Accessing unsuitable material.
- People looking to exploit the vulnerable.
How to keep children and young people safe
You may wish to take the following steps either before or whilst your child is using the internet:
- Talk to your child about staying safe online, and the possible risks of using the internet.
- Go online with your child initially.
- If your child is talking to someone online, make sure you know who they are.
- Set rules and boundaries about how your child uses the internet.
- Ensure wherever possible any content your child accesses is appropriate for their age.
- Find out how to set up parental controls on internet access.
- Check that both you and your child are aware of how to use reporting tools on the sites they use.
The following services provide information and support to help children get the most out of the internet whilst staying safe:
You or your child can report any suspicious, threatening or offensive behaviour to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre or Surrey Police.
Making a complaint
ParentPort is run by the UK's media regulators. It sets and enforces standards across the media to protect children from inappropriate material. If you have seen or heard something you want to complain about their website can direct you to the right regulator for your area of concern.