For the vast majority of children and young people going online will not cause a major problem. In fact, it will have a positive impact on a child’s education and social development. However, there are some instances when online usage can become problematic in terms of over usage and safeguarding issues.
There are a number of things you need to be aware of that can cause problems for children online: cyberbullying, seeing inappropriate content, online grooming, online reputation, online pornography, sexting, self-harm, radicalisation or privacy and identity.
In 2019 the NSPCC published a review of case reviews that feature online abuse. It is important that organisations and people working with Children and Young People understand these issues to reduce the chance of this happening within your organisation.
There are plenty of organisations that are available online to support you and the agency you work for.
Internet Matters provide useful material and advice for online usage, and if you need to understand parental controls for specific phones, gaming devices, online and social media.
Think u Know provide online resources for professionals on internet safety by age groups.
There is also plenty of advice and support around specific areas, such as cyberbullying, online grooming, etc.
Childnet provides useful practical support for professionals around cyberbullying.
Seeing inappropriate content
The Internet Matters website provides an article on protecting children from seeing inappropriate content.
The NSPCC has provided a briefing in relation to online grooming.
Child net have designed an ‘Online Reputation’ checklist which can be printed as a poster to support children to maintain their online reputation.
The NSPCC has created a briefing for professionals around sexting.