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

Key findings from the 2017 Suffolk Cybersurvey

 "My phone makes me feel I exist"

  • Parental influence makes a difference - children do value what their parents and carers say, and they continue to follow their advice as they grow older
  • A one-size approach to online safety education won’t work - advice and support must be based around the age and needs of children and young people
  • Content causes more harm than screen time - children and young people are increasingly seeing more and more ‘harmful’ content sometimes within 30 minutes of using the internet

The cybersurvey is administered by the Strategic Online Safety Group (e-Safer Suffolk) in partnership with Youthworks Consulting Ltd. Find out more about the experiences of children and young people in Suffolk by reading the full 2017 annual cybersurvey report.

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

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