It’s understandable that you will have concerns over your child’s safety online at the moment. The dangers are no different to before the COVID-19 outbreak but the chances are that they will increase just because of the amount of time we are spending online and on social media. Take some time to look at the links below which will help you identify how your child might be at risk along with steps you can take to protect them. This can be as easy as talking with them about your concerns or you can get more technical and learn how to use the parental controls available on every internet-enabled device in your home.
It is also important that as adults we protect ourselves and our families, especially those who are elderly or vulnerable, from the criminals who are trying to exploit the current situation and from people spreading fake news. Action Fraud is the UK’s national reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime where you should report fraud if you have been scammed, defrauded or experienced cybercrime. You can visit their website or phone them on 0300 123 2040.
But please don’t forget all the amazing things that the online world is enabling! We can stay in touch with families and friends through social media, be entertained by theatres and movies via online streaming, and make sure we know what’s going on in the world by tuning in to reliable news channels like the BBC. Life during COVID-19 would be a lot more lonely without all of this!
Support and Guidance
Internet Matters are a not-for-profit organisation with the purpose of empowering parents and carers to keep children safe in the digital world. They have some easy-to use instructions on how to use parental controls to help prevent children from accessing unsuitable content online and lots of other resources too.
Thinkuknow for Parents has been developed by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Command of The National Crime Agency. They have created new activity packs in response to COVID-19 with simple 15 minute activities you can do with your child to support their online safety. They have plenty of factsheets and great advice on how to talk to your child or teenager if something does go wrong. You can also make a report to one of CEOP’s Child Protection Advisors if you are worried about a child or young person (see below).