Parents would not have been concerned about their children’s use of technology and children and young people themselves couldn’t have dreamed of the ways in which technology would form an integral part of their existence. The twentieth century’s explosion of technology has been unprecedented and it is so embedded in our daily lives, it is hard to remember a time when it did not exist.
This technological revolution has changed our lives irreversibly and many of us wonder how we ever managed without it. Most of us use a mobile phone, check email, shop via the Internet and stay connected through social networking sites. However, many adults will admit to having less knowledge about technology than their children do and certainly the way in which children and young people use technology is very different to adults.
Online Safety at a simple level means being safe on the internet. Some people also include the safe use of technology in this as well. However, the pace at which technology is evolving can make it difficult to know what to include when talking about the safe use of the internet.
Online abuse can take shape in a number of forms including:
Online Safety begins at home. As a parent or carer you play a key role in helping your child to stay safe online, so it is important to chat regularly to your child about the sites they use and visit.
As children start to explore the internet, they may come across content that isn’t suitable for their age, or that may upset them or worry them. Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results. And sometimes, because children are curious, they may look for things.
Inappropriate content can include:
If young people see inappropriate content online, it is important to know how to reassure them and help them know what to do and where to go for support.
If your child is worried about something they have seen online, let them know they can talk to you about it:
If you are worried your child may have been taking, sharing or receiving inappropriate or explicit images, it can help to:
Having a calm and open conversation is one way for you and your child to explore what is happening in an honest and supportive way. Talking about it will help you decide the best action to take to ensure your child is safe. If you are concerned that a child has been, or is being sexually abused, you should report it. You can report directly to CEOP or your local Police force. If you think your child is in immediate danger call 999. Report an incident to CEOP.
Whatever your situation it is likely that you will need support for yourself, as well as for your child. Talk to a friend or relative who you trust, who will listen and support you or get in touch with our e-Mentors.