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How Can I Ensure My Child is Safe?

How can I ensure my child is safe on social networks?

Here are some tips:

  • Educate yourself on what the various social networks and apps do
  • Agree with your child when they can join a social networking site and create their profile with them
  • Help them set privacy settings at the strongest level. Sites can change privacy settings so make sure you stay up to date with them. Links to the privacy pages of all the major social networking sites are in our resources section below, plus you can set these on sites for young children 
  • Report people and inappropriate conversations to the site administrator via the ‘help’ or ‘report’ tab (if available) and always keep a copy of the conversation as evidence
  • Teach your child how to block or ignore people on social networking sites and online games, and support them in knowing what they can do if someone makes them feel uncomfortable e.g. create a sentence with your child that they can use if they want to exit an uncomfortable conversation online
  • Set boundaries about which sites they can use and for how long. Try to do this when they first start using social networking sites, so they get used to it from a young age
  • Teach your child never to share any personal details – this includes their password, real name, address and their school
  • Use the site yourself – you or another trusted adult can become your child’s friend on Facebook or follower on Twitter
  • Explain that friends should be people they know – people they meet online may not be who they say they are. Talk to them about the risks involved with chatting to people they don’t know and sharing personal information with them
  • Stress that meeting up with people they know online can be dangerous and that they should only do so with your permission and if you are present. Report directly to CEOP if someone is trying to meet up with your child or if you think your child is in immediate danger
  • Set rules about what they should and shouldn’t post
  • Talk to your child about the fact that what they post can’t always be taken back, and even if it can, it may already have been shared. This applies to webcams too – teach them to only use webcams with people they know, and show them how to disable it.