STOP TALK PROTECT - Stay Safe Online

We’re working with partners to launch a new campaign with the simple message to parents:

  • Stop what you are doing
  • Talk to your children about staying safe online and
  • Protect them from harm.

To help parents, we’ve created this page which contains quick hints and tips which can help children keep safe online.

Have you been roped into your child’s latest Tik Tok dance video? 

Here’s what you need to know!

  • Tik Tok is for 13 years and over
  • All new accounts are automatically made public by default, for all to see. 
  • Users can make their own videos or account private.
  • You don’t need an account to watch people’s videos, so remember, some content may be seen by younger viewers.
  • Over 18's can send 'gifts' on TikTok such as coins and gifts with a real world value.
  • Users can participate in TikTok challenges by clicking the 'Discover' button.
  • You can use filters and stickers or different effects in your videos.
  • Please note that even with a private account your child’s profile photo, username, and bio will be visible to all TikTok users. It is best to ensure no sensitive or personal information is included here. 

Think about using TikTok family safety mode?

You can link your own TikTok accounts to your child’s to control safety aspects. You can limit screen time, messages and restrict what type of content your child may see. 

Your number on friend, parental controls! 

Parental controls help you to block or filter upsetting or inappropriate content. They are also control purchases within apps. 

These controls are already installed on devices, all you have to do is activate them.  

How can they help?

  • create content filters to block apps that may have inappropriate content
  • manage the content different family members can see.
  • You can even control the settings of your internet router, this filters content your child can access whilst connected to the internet. 
  • Lots of mobiles, tablets and computers come with settings that help you to manage what your child can and can't see or do online. 
  • Games Consoles: deactivate the internet, turn off chat functions to stop your child from talking to people they don't know.
  • Some social media apps let you limit settings on your child’s profile, keeping an eye on their safety, we will go into more detail in some of our other videos.

Instagram is a social media platform for sharing photos and videos, it’s also mainly used to keep up to date with friends and family and even their favourite youtuber/celebrity.

There are several things you need to know:

  • You must be at least 13 years old to join. Age 13 to have it. 
  • Profiles can be public or private. 
  • The app has a message & requests feature. Remember that users can; share photos or videos; take part in video chats (up to 4 users);and broadcast live with other users
  • When a new account is created, it always defaults to public access.
  • Users can hide inappropriate comments.
  • You can accept and remove followers as you wish.
  • Remind your child that they can block or restrict accounts. Restricting means they won’t know you’ve done it and you can’t see what they write on your photos etc.
  • Remind your child to turn the location feature off.
  • Users can also choose 'close friends' to send posts that other people can’t see. 

Snapchat, where the selfie began!

As a parent there are loads of thing you need to know to keep your child safe online:  

  • You must be at least 13 years old to join. 
  • The app lets users send pictures or videos to each other that can disappear once opened. 
  • You need to remind your child that even through the content disappears, other people can take screenshots.  
  • Remind your child that they can change who can view their story or location
  • Ask them to set their location to ghost mode, to stop others seeing where they are. 
  • Tell them to only speak to people they know in real life 
  • If someone has upset your child, let them know they can talk to you. They can also report it using the flag. 
  • You can block those upsetting you. 
  • Make video and voice calls.
  • Opt out of others finding you through your mobile number.
  • Report messages on snapchat by pressing and holding the snap to see the report snap menu.

Facebook is by far one of the most common social media platforms. Since its creation, Messenger has now become a standalone platform.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • You must be at least 13 years old to join. 
  • Messenger is a separate app to Facebook. 
  • Users’ profiles can be set using their Facebook account or telephone number.
  • Messenger allows users to send other users their location in message. 
  • By default accounts have basic filtering, which means friends and people you may know can contact you on Facebook and on Messenger

Messenger Kids

  • A new platform aimed at children under 13 (or 6-12)
  • The new platform provided enhanced parental control. Through a parent’s dashboard you can; control friend requests; approve contact list; report & block users; know when your child is using the app.  
  • You can also see the most recent photos your child has sent or received.
  • Once they have contacts, your child can send text, photos, videos, audio files, and GIFs. They can add filters, like Snapchat, and spend lots of time decorating photos and videos, playing with filters, and drawing things to send to friends.
  • They can also create group chats (which you don't need to approve) and make video calls.

Found out that your child has been sharing images online? 

Stay calm remember – STOP – TALK – PROTECT. Calmly speak to your child, they are likely to be embarrassed. A lot of children won’t approach parents as they don’t feel they will know how to help. 

Talk to them about:

  • peer pressure
  • reassure them that they should never feel pressured by someone to do something
  • encourage them to talk if they need to. 
  • That not everyone is who they say they are online, it can be a very dangerous place. 

A major worry is images ending up somewhere where everyone can see. Remind your child that most sites have a reporting feature and will take down these photographs. 

Did you know?

Childline work with the internet watch foundation to help get photos taken down.

What if someone is pressuring your child? 

Let them know if anyone was to pressure or threaten them online there are people out there that can help. Tell them to speak to you. You should then contact the police or visit thinkuknow for more information. 

This campaign aims to help young people spot the signs of manipulative, pressuring and abusive behaviour and assists them in developing the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to identify risks online and access help when they need it.

Here are a few things to remember: 

  • If your child has sent an image there's always things that can be done.
  • It’s abusive to pressure someone else into sending an image.
  • If your child has sent an image to someone, ask them to delete it. 
  • Social networks do not allow nude images of under 18s, so the image can be taken down.
  • If your child wants more help, they can talk to Child line on 0800 1111.
  • Always approach from the perspective of the child, don’t tell them off or they may not trust to come to you in future if in trouble. 
  • One final thing. Sending, possessing or making an indecent picture of someone under the age of 18 years old is against the law. 

There is a lot of information out there about cyber-bulling. The Anti-bullying Alliance define bullying as:

The repetitive, intentional hurting of one person or group by another person or group, Where the relationship involves an imbalance of power. Bullying can be physical, verbal or psychological.

Things to consider:

  • Think before you post.
  • Treat others as you would be treated
  • If you wouldn’t say it to someone in person don’t say it online
  • People cannot see your body language or hear the tone of your voice via text
  • Don’t make situations worse by provoking someone
  • Don’t start rumours or make fun of someone else online

Remind your child to:

  • post things that inspire and motivate people
  • respect others
  • include others
  • think about personal information online and avoid personal pictures

Help them by showing them:

  • How to block and report online
  • Make profiles secure and private
  • Switch off location settings
  • Retain evidence if the worst should happen

There are several games consoles out there for children to enjoy.

As a parent there are a number of settings you can use to help keep your child safe:

  • You can control your family’s privacy settings. 
  • Monitor friend requests
  • Choose the age range of people your child can interact with
  • Moderate online gameplay
  • Review purchases
  • Toggle access to multiplayer games
  • Moderate viewing of TV, movies and online shows 

Screen time can offer children opportunities to learn and develop new skills at a touch of a button. But like anything, too much of it can have a negative effect on their wellbeing. 

Make screens part of family time, like a movie or an online games night is one way to make it more inclusive and engaging.

Screen time settings on devices lets you, as parents, manage the time of day that your children are online. 

You can also set up parental passwords to stop them changing the settings. 

Remember- It’s best not to be on devices right before bed or keep them in bedrooms as night.