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Keeping children safe online

How parents can play an important role in helping their children safe online, and why children need to learn about internet safety.

Support for children

Everyone who works in education and children and young people's services has a responsibility to keep children safe, including when they go online.

Staff and volunteers have been trained to make sure they can offer help to children having problems online.

As a parent, there are a number of things you can do to help. You don't need to understand the technology; you just need to help your child understand the risks.

What can I do as a parent?

Start young: Talk to your child as early as possible. Local and national research shows children in primary school are already experiencing cyberbullying or involved in inappropriate online gaming.

Talk about it: Make sure your child knows they can talk to you about anything they see on the internet, or if contact with someone online makes them feel uncomfortable.

Report it!: Use the report abuse buttons on social networks to report cyberbullying or inappropriate material/images. Make sure your child knows how to use them too.

Attend an online safety session at your child's school, if available: Get involved with the online safety education that they offer.

Use parental controls: These let you block certain sites or content so your child can't access it. Look out for gadgets with child-friendly software or "kids-mode apps" and contact your internet provider to find out how they can help.

Useful websites and further information

Internet Matters website has tips and lots of useful advice about children's internet safety and how to set the devices in your home to protect your children. The website is supported by the four major internet service providers in the UK: BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.

The Source website provides advice and practical online safety help for young people in Suffolk, along with lots of other information to support them make their transition into adulthood.

Safety Detectives website provide advice for parents about protecting their children if they use YouTube.