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online safety

Terms such as e-safety’, ‘online’, ‘communication technologies’, and ‘digital technologies’ refer to all fixed and mobile technologies that adults and children may encounter, now and in the future, which allow them access to content and communications that could raise issues or pose risks to their wellbeing and safety.

“We believe every child and young person should be protected, educated and empowered to stay safe when using the internet and digital technologies.”

Our approach will need to have several strands and will need to focus on work with children and young people, their parents and carers, and the professionals who work with children and young people. A greater challenge will be to raise awareness amongst the general public and the services that they use in both the public and private sector, for example internet cafes, libraries and locations offering wireless connection. It is important that children and young people receive consistent messages about the safe use of ICT and are able to recognise and manage the risks posed in both the real and the virtual world.

Use of technology also poses risks to adults, including those who are using it in their role to support or work with children and young people.

Whether it is using Chat Rooms, Social Networking sites like ‘Facebook’, online games or your mobile, you should take precautions to keep yourself (and your relatives and friends) safe.

There are lots of great websites out there that will provide up to date information for you about; what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. For example: If they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online, they can report this to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

Kayleigh's Love Story

With the support of Kayleigh Haywood’s family, Leicestershire Police has made a film about aspects of the last two weeks of her life.

Kayleigh’s Love Story is as a warning to young people, both girls and boys, about the dangers of speaking to people they don’t know online. The film highlights just how quick and easy it can be for children to be groomed online without them or those around them knowing it is happening. Its purpose is to protect children now and in the future and to stop another family losing a child in this way.

For more information visit


Cyberbullying is an increasingly common form of bullying behaviour which happens on social networks, games and mobile phones. Children may not know who’s bullying them online, or it may be an extension of offline peer bullying.

Cyberbullying can happen at any time or anywhere, a child can be bullied when they are alone in their bedroom so it feels like there’s no escape.

For more advice on preventing and responding to cyberbullying visit 


‘Sexting’ is the exchange of self-generated sexually explicit images, ranging from partial nudity to sexual images or video created via webcam or smartphone and sent via mobile picture messages or webcams and shared with others including on Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, Flickr, Snapchat and video sites such as Youtube and Vimeo.

Find out more about the dangers of Sexting and what advice can be given to young people if they have shared something

Useful resources for young people and those working with young people

The Government has launched two new documents, which the UK Safer Internet Centre has been involved in developing:

NSPCC Share Aware

We know some parents feel confused by the internet – out of their depth, and out of control. Share Aware – the NSPCC’s campaign for parents of children aged 8-12 – will help to reassure you, and give you everything you need to keep your children safe.

Switched On Families – Virgin Media

Switched On Families is about giving parents clear, honest, useful (and sometimes even fun) support to make sure your family gets the best from the web. You know your kids best, but at Virgin Media, they know a thing or two about the web and want to help you make informed and confident choices.

Net Aware

The NSPCC and O2 have worked together to find out what over 500 parents thought about the social networks that children use and also what 1720 young people thought.

The purpose of Net Aware is to provide parents with the information they need to understand their child’s online world and help them keep their children safe online. Parents are encouraged to explore what other parents and children are saying about the sites, and form their own views about the appropriateness of popular sites.


Lee and Kim’s Adventure… Animal Magic

Watch “Lee and Kim’s Adventure… Animal Magic” video by CEOP, about Lee and Kim who are brother and sister. They like playing on the internet together and their favourite game is Animal Magic and find themselves in a tricky situation – your child might enjoy similar sites such as Club Penguin or Moshi Monsters. Read Lee and Kim’s Adventure Storybook

More useful resources

There are many more useful resources available around the internet advising how to keep children safe online. The following links are a small selection

  • O2 & NSPCC have joined forces to provide expert advice for parents or carers to help keep children safe online. Whether it is setting up parental controls, adjusting privacy settings, understanding social networks or concerns about online gaming. Speak with one of their advisors on 08088 005002
  • South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) E-safety Resources
  • and Know it All – The childnet International website gives internet safety advice and links for young people, parents, teachers and other organisations. Their award winning suite of ‘Know It All# resources have been designed to help educate about the safe and positive use of the internet
  • Think you know
  • Digizen
  • Digiduck’s Big Decision A story of friendship and responsibility online.

When should I report to the National Crime Agency’s CEOP Command (formerly the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) ?

CEOP help children stay safe online. Has someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. You can report it to us below.

Remember if you need immediate help call 999


Internet Watch Foundation (IWF)

The Internet Watch Foundation is the UK Hotline for reporting criminal online content especially;

  • Child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world
  • Criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK
  • Non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK

Reports are confidential and can be made anonymously by clicking here

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