Keeping children safe online

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

The internet is an ever present part of children's lives today. 

3142 young people responded to the 2016 annual Suffolk cybersurvey for those in mainstream education and further education. The sample was 48% male, 46% female while 6% of respondents chose ‘prefer not to say’. 

Some key findings from the cybersurvey were:

  • 83% of 10 to 11 year olds in Suffolk now have access to either a smartphone or tablet.
  • Posting photos or videos rose sharply in 2016 from 39% of 11 year olds to half of 12 year olds and two thirds of 15 year olds.
  • But only 58% of 10 year olds say they have been taught to stay safe online by a parent or carer. 

That's why it's important that children learn about internet safety (online-safety) and how to protect themselves online.

Support for children

Everyone who works in education and young people's services have 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. Our 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 e-safety session at your child’s school, if that’s available – get involved with the e-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.

More information

e-Safer Suffolk offers local advice and information for professionals and parents and carers.

Internet matters has tips and advice on children's internet safety (supported by the four major internet service providers in the UK;BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media).

The Source gives advice and practical e-safety help for young people in Suffolk.

Call ChildLine on 0800 1111 for free help for children and young people in trouble or being bullied.