Keeping safe online

Girl with mobile phone

Keeping children safe online is a great concern for parents and carers but you play a key role in supporting your children to learn about how to stay safe online; often parents and carers are also one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong.

Social media increases the vulnerability of children and young people by providing opportunities for grooming, for bullying, and the exchange of inappropriate photographs, and for access to information and items to purchase. The rapid development of online activity and social media platforms can be confusing for parents.

Here are four steps you as a parent can take:

  1. Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
  2. Use safety tools on social networks and other online services, eg Facebook privacy settings
  3. Decide if you want to use parental controls on your home internet
  4. Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer in the UK Safer Internet's Parents' Guide to Technology

Have a look at this tip sheet from NetSmartz which includes information about online enticement and what you can do as a parent to help keep your child safe.

Useful websites

Below are national websites with up-to-date information and resources to help parents and carers to keep their children safe online.

Live My Digital

Online safety resources for parents.


If you want to find out more about a particular social network that your child is using.


Some facts and the law on internet issues.

Share Aware

A NSPCC site which provides straightforward, no-nonsense advice for parents of 8 to 12-year-old children.

Think U Know

Helpful advice for parents from CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) about how to keep their children safe online and different types of concerns parents might have about their children's online activity and how best to deal with it. Think U know also provides different sections for children that cater to different age groups so parents can point their children to this.

UK Safer Internet Centre

Advice about key e-safety topics like social networking, as well as how-to guide for setting up filters and parent settings.