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To help keep your children safe online, the NSPCC suggest that you work as a TEAM

You have just FOUR easy steps to follow...

Talk about staying safe online

Explore their online world together

Agree rules about what is okay and what is not 

Manage your family's settings and controls

... and repeat - making it part of your everyday lives.

Do you know what your child is doing on-line?

Signs to watch out for:


  • become very secretive, especially about what they are doing online
  • are spending a lot of time on the internet and social media
  • are switching screens on their device when you approach
  • are angry or withdrawn after using the internet or sending messages
  • have lots of new phone numbers or email addresses on their devices

If adults are concerned or have any questions on how to approach the subject of discussing safe on-line use with their children, they can contact the NSPCC Helpline on 0808 800 5000 or visit the NSPCC website. Children who are worried about their activity on apps or online games can contact Childline 24 hours a day, online and over the phone on 0800 1111.

The Law

If your child has a Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or other online account then they should be at least 13 years old.

Read here for more information about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act here (COPPA) 

Talking to your child about online safety

Talking to your child – openly, and regularly – is the best way to help keep them safe online.

You might find it helpful to start with a family discussion to set boundaries and agree what's appropriate. Or you might need a more specific conversation about an app or website your child wants to use or something you're worried about.

If you're not sure where to start then here's some advice for you – great ways to begin conversations to keep your child safe online.

Read the NSPCC guide to talking to your child about online safety


See also the Parents Protect guide to keeping children safe online

Learn about the the Share Aware campaign

NSPCC (Share Aware Campaign)

The NSPCC have a public education campaign, called 'Share Aware', to help parents keep their children safe online.

The campaign is aimed at parents and carers of children aged 8-12 – the age at which they start doing more online, become more independent and use a greater range of devices. The campaign aims to encourage parents and carers to understand online safety and to have conversations with their children about keeping safe.


Having conversations from a young age can help build trust and openness and get preventative messages across.  However, many parents feel confused by the internet and out of their depth in understanding what their children are doing online and what the risks might be.


The Share Aware campaign aims to give parents the tools to feel confident to have these conversations. The campaign directs parents to a range of new resources, including Net Aware, a simple NSPCC guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use – as rated by parents and young people themselves. The NSPCC is providing information on this guide at the time of the launch.


There is also a downloadable guide and a hard copy booklet for parents, containing top tips for keeping your child safe online, as well 'conversation starters' to help parents with talking with their children. All these resources are available on the Share Aware page (see link below). Contact the NSPCC if you would like to receive a copy of the booklet.


The NSPCC hopes the campaign will help parents talk to their children about staying safe online, as well as encouraging providers to take action to make their sites safer for children.

As part of the launch of the campaign, the NSPCC aims to release the findings from the consultations with parents and children that informed Net Aware. The guide has three main purposes:

  • to provide an overview of sites, apps and games that children and young people use from a user-perspective
  • to give parents the confidence to facilitate balanced and informed conversations about what their children are doing online, and
  • to encourage parents to look at social networking platforms themselves and form their own views about the appropriateness of popular sites for their children.


The Share Aware campaign will also include two animations – 'I saw your willy' and 'Lucy and the boy' – These engaging films have a serious message deriving from the stories of two children who share too much about themselves online. CLICK HERE TO VIEW THEM