How can I help keep my child safe online?

As a parent or carer you play a key role in helping your child to stay safe online. We understand this may feel a bit daunting – but you don’t need to be an expert on the internet. The most important thing you can do is to have a conversation with them.

Chat with your children on an ongoing basis about staying safe online. If you’re not sure how to begin this conversation, then the UK Safer Internet Centre have some great conversation starter ideas.

Using the Peril of the Possessed Pets book and videos is of course also a fantastic way to talk to your child about whether they’ve ever encountered one of our trolls online or what they would do if they did.

In the I need help section there is information about the more common concerns your child may encounter online. There is advice and links to organisations that have useful tips and resources, so you could look through these with them as part of your conversation.

  • Childnet has a parents and carers toolkit that offers practical tips and advice on different aspects of keeping your child safe online. They also offer tailored advice for foster carers and adoptive parents that can be found here.
  • ParentZone also has an amazing range of resources, which include guides on the most popular games and apps that your child might use.
  • Net Aware has created a video based on four simple steps you can follow to make talking online safety part of your everyday family conversation. This video also has subtitles available in several languages.
  • Think U Know has a helpful guide on how you can make online gaming a safer experience for your child.
  • Swiggle is an ad-free search engine, designed specifically for kids who are taking their first steps on the internet. It can help stop children accidently encountering inappropriate content or advertising when they’re online.
  • Google, YouTube and other mainstream sites have safe search settings on them that you can activate to help limit the type of contact your child can access. There are online guides on how to turn on the ‘safe search’ features.
  • The BBC has designed an Own It App that can be installed on mobile phones. This is designed to provide a helping hand to your child when they receive their first smartphone, supporting their digital wellbeing, showing them how to make smarter and better informed choices.