What should I do if I am concerned about something relating to my child online?
We know that the children enjoy being online and it can be very tricky for parents to keep up to date with the speed that the online world changes. Fortunately, there are many places you can go to for help and advice regarding what to do and how to report any inappropriate behaviour you may come across.
Your children have been taught in school what they should do if they see something that worries them online. The most important message we give is to share their worry with a trusted adult. That might be you, another adult in the family or a teacher The question then is, what should you do to help?
1. Reassure your child that they were absolutely correct to tell you, they are not in trouble and how good that they remembered what they had learnt in school. Tell them that you can now sort it out together.
2. Depending on what they have seen, you may only need to spend some time allaying their initial fears, if it is something that a small child might find unsettling. Perhaps it is time to check that filters are still in place and up to date. Do this with your child and explain why you are doing it. Most ISPs allow you to put the family filter in place at the router point so that all devices wirelessly connected to your home Wi-Fi will be subject to the same conditions.
There are details of how to do this on the parent control section of this page, or you can visit https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/
3. If they have witnessed something more serious, or you feel you need to report something that shouldn’t be online https://reportharmfulcontent.com/ is a website designed to help you. It has guidance on how to report different types of content, as well as help with what you can do next if your report isn’t actioned by the service you made it on.
4. If you or someone in your household is in immediate danger, you should call 999
The O2 and NSPCC are operating a helpline and have operators ready to answer any questions you and your child/ren might have about staying safe online. It is available for free Mon-Fri 9-4 0808 800 5002. Click on the logo to access their webpage and further information.
CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency and is dedicated to tackling the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people. CEOP helps children and young people under the age of 18 who have been forced or manipulated into taking part, or are being pressured to take part, in sexual activity of any kind. This can be both online and offline. The CEOP Safety Centre offers information and advice for children and young people, parents and carers and professionals. You can visit the CEOP Safety Centre and make a report directly to CEOP by clicking the Click CEOP button above.
Online bullying or other online concerns should not be reported to CEOP and children and young people should be directed to speak to an adult they trust and /or referred to Childline, if they would like to speak to someone about how they are feeling.