Kids Safety Net is a multi-agency campaign for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough to help support parents and carers help keep children safe in their online world. Partners have come together for a six-month campaign (March – August 2023) with the aim of supporting parents, carers and relevant professionals to feel confident in talking about online safety with the children they know and work with, so that they know that they can always talk to someone about anything that is worrying them.
The internet is a great place for children to learn, create, chat with friends and family, access information or support and explore fun apps, sites and games. But exploring comes with risks, so it’s vital we know how to help keep them safe online.
The campaign, Kids Safety Net, has organised a series of 45 minute workshops which are FREE, via Zoom, at various times to fit around your busy lives. The remaining workshops are taking place on the following dates :
• Help you understand how children and young people experience the online world
• Show you resources and tools that could help keep them safe
• Empower you to guide them on their journey
If you would like to organise a virtual or face to face session for your community group, network or business please email: [email protected]
Key Risks To Children and Young People; It’s important to know
• Who they’re talking to
– This includes grooming and cyberbullying
• What they’re seeing
– Innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results
– Children are often a few clicks away from inappropriate/harmful content
• What they’re ‘oversharing’
– Personal information, location and nude images/videos
– Remember that when young people share online, it may never be fully private
Signs of Online Abuse; What to look out for
• Children may not know what’s happening to them, so the signs may not always be obvious
• Sudden, unexplained changes are usually an indication that something’s wrong
• Consider what’s age-appropriate for your child
Top tips for supporting children and young people to manage their online behaviour
Start a conversation
An open and honest conversation is often the first step in keeping your child safe online, it also plays an important role in supporting them if something has gone wrong.
Talk to your child about what has happened, how they feel about it, and what the next steps are for you to take as a family.
Keeping your child in the loop about what you are going to do to resolve the situation can help them to feel in control of it and can help them to feel like they can come to you with any future problems.
Be curious, not furious
Remaining calm and asking questions like ‘how did you get to that?’ or ‘what did you click on?’ will help you to understand how the content has appeared in the first place.
Children will often remember the immediate response from an adult – remaining calm and open will show them that you are someone they can turn to for help.
Try not to place blame
It may be that your child has clicked on something by mistake or even gone looking for the content on purpose, either way, it is still important to remain calm and be supportive.
Children are curious and may hear about things from others that they later search for without realising what they will be exposed to.