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Online Safety

So what is ‘Online Safety’?

In simple terms, online safety refers to the act of staying safe online. It is also commonly known as internet safety, e-safety and cyber safety. It encompasses all technological devices which have access to the internet from PCs and laptops to smartphones and tablets. Being safe online means individuals are protecting themselves and others from online harms and risks which may jeopardise their personal information, lead to unsafe communications or even effect their mental health and wellbeing.

Children have more and more access to the internet via mobile telephones, tablets and computers. These are 10 tips for keeping children safe online -

  • Use a safe search engine -Child-friendly Safe Search Engines like and  YouTube Kids provides kids with a safe environment for searching on the web, which is essential for the online safety for kids. 
  • Choose Strong Passwords - It is important to use passwords that are complex. It should be a combination of lower and uppercase letters, alphanumeric characters and numbers. Passwords are meant to be kept secret and not to be shared with anyone. Strong passwords are very important for online safety for kids.
  • Privacy - The sharing of information online should be done carefully. Personal information – like phone number, address, photo, name and location of school should not be shared at all. Think carefully about posting photos of children online, if you would not share the photo with a stranger on the bus you probably shouldn't share this online.
  • Double Check before posting or commenting - For online safety for kids, it is important to be mindful before they post anything online as posts can stay on the web forever. It can be really embarrassing as any indecent comment or photo sent online can come back later to haunt. 
  • Think before clicking - Computer viruses are increasing day by day. At present, there are more than 100,000 known computer viruses. They can invade the computer if any inappropriate link is clicked or any untrustworthy file is downloaded. It is important to scan every file before downloading it for any potential threat.  Make sure your device is protected by anti virus software.
  • Staying away from the strangers - So many online games now allow children to play with their friends and groups, with the potential for strangers to join.  Not every person online is telling the truth about themselves, encourage your child to talk to you about their friendship group, if someone is bullying them online or they are concerned about someone's behaviour they should tell a trusted adult.
  • Openly discussing online experience and limiting online time - An honest open conversation should be encouraged at home about which sites and apps are being frequently used by children during their online time. If your child feels they can trust that you will not get angry if they mistakenly see or open something they shouldn't, they are more likely to come to you if something worries them about their activity online.  Limit screen time,
  • Keeping computers and other devices for accessing internet in a common area - It is never a good idea for children to access the internet in the privacy of their bedroom. It takes away the parental supervision which is important for them. Also, for children younger than 13 years of age, it is advisable not to open a social media account for online safety for kids. Their maturity level needs to come to a certain mark before they can be allowed access to social media.
  • Rules are the same – Online and Offline - Every parent prepares their child for the real world by making some rules for them. These rules are meant to discipline them in real life e.g. do not talk to strangers, switch off the tv in half an hour etc. Many such rules are the same that can be followed in the virtual world. So, it is important to keep in mind that rules for the real and virtual world are not that different. And, if these rules are followed a child can be safe in the virtual world too. Obeying these rules are essential for kids’ internet safety.
  • 10. Calling for help when in danger- For online safety of kids, in case of any compromise to privacy or device hacking it is advisable to call for help. The website should be closed and the system should be turned off. Leave the website. In order to resolve the issue, support should be sought from parents, any trusted adult or Police helpline.  There are a number of helplines where you can report unsafe websites, and apps including CEOP for concerns about online grooming or child exploitation and CHILDLINE for concerns and advice about online bullying