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Helping to keep our young people safe online

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Net Aware is the @NSPCC and @O2’s co-created site 

With more young people than ever spending lots of time online, it has never been more important that they are protected from harmful content.

The NSPCC and O2’s co-created site Net Aware has the following tips for parents on how they can help to keep their children safe online.

  • With the internet playing a vital role keeping children in touch with family, friends and helping with school work – you might need to be a bit more flexible with the normal rules, like how long you let your child play games or message friends. Try to understand what they are doing online, rather than just the time they are spending.
  • It can be helpful to supervise children when they’re video-chatting with friends, but it can also be time consuming! Check-in with other parents and see if you can take it in turns to support the children when they are chatting.
  • Try to have regular but relaxed conversations with your child about what apps and games they are using, what they like about them and how they can stay safe.
  • Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if they see anything that upsets or worries them. Or they can talk to a Childline counsellor.
  • Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline. Remind them that they shouldn’t share personal information, photos of their body or hurtful messages.
  • Take the time to explore the new apps and games together and learn how to use the different safety features. If you use parental controls, explain your reasons why.
  • We’ve created a family agreement template  so you can decide on some ground rules for both of you. Once you’ve agreed them, why not stick it on your fridge or wall and come back to it regularly to see if it’s working?
  • Try to remember – a lot of young people like apps, sites and games because they’re fun, interesting or creative, but also because they’re parent free! If you spend too much time following your child around or restricting what they can do, they might stop talking to you about what they do online – that’s why it’s best to have regular conversations but not impose on their privacy.

The joint NSPCC and O2 resource Net Aware can help parents and children understand the risks on the latest sites, apps and games and be a helpful part of coping with self-isolation.  

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Through our partnership with O2 we also have lots of advice  to help keep children safe when using the internet, social networks, apps and games. This includes tips on how to start a conversation, setting up parental controls, how to create a family agreement and much more!

Parents can also ring the O2 & NSPCC advice line to speak directly with one of our experts on 0808 800 5002 from 10:00am 16:00pm.

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