Online abuse Keeping children safe

The internet offers lots of opportunities and benefits for children and young people providing a place to learn and share. It can also pose a number of risks.

It’s normal for children to take risks – it’s part of their natural development.

But when children takes risks online they may see content that’s not suitable for their age, whether this is accidental or because they’re curious. They may also share more than they realise and be targeted by bullies or abusers.

It’s important to remember that not all risk results in harm and we can help children and young people to use the internet safely and responsibly.

If you think a child is in immediate danger

Don't delay – call the police on 999,
or call us on 0808 800 5000, straight away.

Books on how to keep safe

Reading a story can help you talk to children and young people about sensitive subjects.

It's a good idea to read the book on your own first and come up with somes questions about the experiences of the characters and what you would do in the same situation:

    • “What did… do to stay safe?”
    • “Could… have done anything else?”
    • “If this happened to you, who could you tell?”
    • “What could you do to keep yourself safe?”

Cover of 'Digiduck’s big decision'Digiduck’s big decision
By Lindsay Bower and Ciara Flood
Covers issues of friendship and responsibilities online. Digiduck thinks about sharing a photo of his friend on his computer. Wise_Owl shows what might happen and explains why this isn’t such a good idea.
Read Digiduck's big decision

Cover of 'Through the wild web woods: an online internet safety game for children.'

Through the wild web woods: an online internet safety game for children.
Created by N.K. Netzbewegung and Council of Europe
Interactive internet safety game that takes children on an adventure through the Wild Web Woods.
Visit Through the wild web woods 

ThinkUKnow
A website supported by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
Children ages 5, 6 or 7 can have fun learning how to be safe online with Lee and Kim or Hector and his friends. Older children can visit the cyber café and help Jason, Sunil and Ali stay safe online.
Visit ThinkUKnow

Cover of 'KidSMART'

KidSMART
A Childnet International website.
Games, activities and storybooks that show children how to make smart decisions online.
Visit KidSMART

Cover of 'Zipit'Zipit
By Childline
A mobile phone app that helps young people divert sexual conversations that are making them feel uncomfortable. Teenagers can send funny images with witty putdowns to stay in control of the conversation, and they can get tips and advice on how to keep safe.
Visit Zipit 

With friends like these
The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) Trust.
A short film that helps teenagers understand the consequences of sharing images of others.  A girl uses her mobile phone to send a revealing image of herself to an ex-boyfriend. She thought she was sharing it with just one person, but it ends up going all round the school.
Watch With friends like these 

ThinkUKnow
A website supported by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.
Teenagers can find out the 5 questions they should ask themselves before posting a photo or video online. And they can explore the site for advice on issues such as online bullying or sexting.
Visit ThinkUKnow

So you got naked online
The South West Grid for Learning (SWGfL) Trust.
Help and advice for young people who have put a sexting image or video online and lost control of it.
Download So you got naked online (PDF)

Cover of 'Know IT All for Primary'Know IT All for Primary
Created by Childnet International
Video tutorials for primary school staff covering a range of e-safety issues. Includes a 5-part animation, “The Adventures of Kara, Winston and the SMART Crew” and a range of follow-up downloadable activities.
Watch Know IT All for Primary

Cover of 'Know IT All Lower Secondary Toolkit'

Know IT All Lower Secondary Toolkit
Created by Childnet International
Toolkit for secondary school teachers, providing a range of resources that can be downloaded and customised to support e-safety teaching for 11-13-year-olds.
Dowload Know IT All Lower Secondary Toolkit

UK Safer Internet Centre
Provides a range of e-safety resources for teachers and professionals.
Visit UK Safer Internet Centre

Cover of 'Through the wild web woods - an online internet safety game for children: teachers guide'

Through the wild web woods - an online internet safety game for children: teachers guide
By Council of Europe
Teachers' guide for use with interactive online game, Through the Wild Web Woods, designed to help young children stay safe while using the internet.
Download Through the wild web woods: teachers guide (PDF)

 

Cover of 'Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities: guidance for teachers and other professionals'Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities: guidance for teachers and other professionals
By Childnet International and Kate Martin. Guidance to help teachers and other professionals understand the issues around cyberbullying for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).Download Cyberbullying and children and young people with SEN and disabilities: guidance for teachers and other professionals (PDF)

Resources and information for parents

Your guide to social networks

Net Aware is our no-nonsense guide to the social networks, sites and apps children use.

Visit Net Aware

Be Share Aware

It's good to share – but sometimes sharing online can be dangerous. Be Share Aware and keep children safe online.

Be Share Aware

Online safety

Helpful advice and tools you can use to help keep your child safe whenever and wherever they go online.
Online safety advice

Books and resources for parents and children

We’ve complied a reading list of guides, stories and films to help parents and children know how to stay safe online.

See the list

Sexting

How to talk to children about the risks of sexting - and what you can do to protect them
What you can do about sexting

Parent Info

Parent Info provides high quality information to parents and carers about their children's wellbeing and ability to cope in certain situations.

Learn more

Images and videos of child abuse on social media

It's against the law to produce or share images of child abuse - this includes sharing images and videos over social media.

If you see a video or image that shows a child being abused we advise that you:

  • report it to the police or contact the NSPCC helpline and we’ll report it to the police for you
  • report it to the website you've seen it on
  • do not comment, like or share the video or image as this will distribute it further.

If the image or video involves the sexual abuse of a child please report this to the Internet Watch Foundation.

Some images and videos may appear old but it's still important to report them. You can help prevent the video being shared further by alerting the person sharing the video that it has been reported to the authorities.

Resources and training for professionals

Prevention guide for professionals working with young people

We helped the Home Office develop this resource for running sessions to help children understand what constitutes abusive behaviour online, the consequences of bullying behaviour and where to get help. 

Download the guide

Keeping children safe online course

Online training to give you a clear understanding of how children use the internet and other digital technology. Newly updated for 2016. Cost: £30
More on this course

Internet safety resources for professionals

Our reading list of books and reports will help anyone working with children keep up-to-date with online safety.

Browse the resources

Keeping children safe

Bullying and cyberbullying

Tips and advice on how to keep children safe from bullying and cyberbullying

Find out more

Grooming

Find out how to keep children safe from grooming

Find out more

Child sexual exploitation

Find out how to prevent child sexual exploitation

Find out more

Sexual abuse

Find out how to keep children safe from child sexual abuse

Find out more

Support for professionals

CASPAR

Our Current Awareness Service for Practice, Policy And Research delivers free weekly email alerts to keep you up-to-date with all the latest safeguarding and child protection news.

Sign up to CASPAR

Information Service

Our free service for people who work with children can help you find the latest policy, practice, research and news on child protection and related subjects.

For more information, call us or email help@nspcc.org.uk.

0808 800 5000

Submit an enquiry

Follow @NSPCCpro

Follow us on Twitter and keep up-to-date with all the latest news in child protection.

Follow @NSPCCpro on Twitter

Library catalogue

We hold the UK's largest collection of child protection resources and the only UK database specialising in published material on child protection, child abuse and child neglect.

Search the library

New in the Library

A free weekly email listing all of the new child protection publications added to our library collection.

Sign up to New in the Library

Helping you keep children safe

Read our guide for professionals on what we do and the ways we can work with you to protect children and prevent abuse and neglect.

Read our guide (PDF)

Impact and evidence hub

Find out how we evaluate and research the impact we’re making in protecting children, get tips and tools for researchers and access resources.

Our impact and evidence

Get expert training and consultancy

Grow your child protection knowledge and skills with CPD certified courses delivered by our experts nationwide and online.
Get expert training

Sharing knowledge to keep children safe

Read our guide to NSPCC Knowledge and Information Services to find out how we can help you with child protection queries, support your research, and help you learn and develop.

Read our guide (PDF)