Cyber bullying & online safety
Stories about cyber bullying, online safety, or more
specifically online danger, are hard to avoid.
The internet and new communications technology, like all
environments and media, can be used and abused. Thankfully the
positive aspects far outweigh the negative.
Simple steps for online safety
However you can take a few simple steps to help make your
childs' online experience as safe as possible and protect them from
- Encourage them to tell you if they come across any sites that
could cause offence or pose some kind of danger.
- If you do catch them on a site that you think is unsuitable,
don't assume that they made the choice to go there. It's not that
hard for a determined webmaster to disguise a website to catch
- If you feel unsure about the technology, why not try an IT or
internet evening course somewhere? Have a look at LearnDirect
or the online BBC Webwise site.
- Look in the help menu of your browser for security options -
you can, to a certain extent, restrict what sites and downloads
your children can access.
- Report incidents of abusive emails and inappropriate sites to
your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Each ISP should have an
Acceptable Usage Policy outlining their responsibilities to
customers, as well as terms and conditions for people holding
accounts with them.
There are a number of useful websites that will give you more
specific and detailed advice - see our Useful Links section for more.
Kidscape has a page for young people on how
to stay safe online, which includes advice on reporting mobile
phone or text/video messaging harassment.