Mother and small children looking at tablet together

Talking to your child about online safety

Advice on how to start the conversation and get support if you're worried.

Starting a conversation about online safety


It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you. It can help to: 

    • reassure them that you're interested in their life, offline and online. Recognise that they'll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends.
    • ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them.
    • be positive but also open about anything you're worried about. You could say "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here."
    • ask them if they're worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you.
    • ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are.
    • listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don't think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
    • ask your child what they think's okay for children of different ages so they feel involved in the decision making.

Worried about a child?

If you're worried about something a child or young person may have experienced online, you can contact the NSPCC helpline for free support and advice. Call us on 0808 800 5000 or contact us online.

Children can contact Childline any time to get support themselves.

Get support

How could my child feel talking about online safety?

For children, online life is real life. It can help to think about how your child could feel sharing what they're doing online before you talk to them.

Some emotions they could be feeling are:

    • uncomfortable
    • worried
    • annoyed
    • confused
    • happy.

 

Online safety advice and support

1. Visit Net Aware
Get expert advice on the top apps, sites and games children are using using, how to set up parental controls, latest news and more with Net Aware.

2. Speak to an O2 guru in store
They can help you set up parental controls. You don't have to be an O2 customer!

3. Call the O2 NSPCC Advice Line
For advice on how to set up parental controls, privacy settings or around social media, call 0808 8005002 to speak to one of our experts.