Taking risks is a normal part of growing up, but in the online world this can have long-term effects that can cause distress to children and their families. It’s important to strike a balance between allowing your child to experiment and develop their independence, and making sure they are aware of what can go wrong and how to deal with it.
If you are a parent you may find the following documents useful:
- FaceBook Parents Guide (PDF)
- eSafety Advice for Parents (PDF)
- Learning Disabilities, Autism and Internet Safety: A Parent’s Guide (PDF)
The Think You Know website is also a useful source of information for parents and young people.
If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should report your concerns to CEOP.
It is not always easy to spot the signs of online grooming and sexual exploitation so if you have any concern at all about someone your child is in contact with, you should get in touch.
You should always report if your child is or has been in contact with someone who is:
- Chatting online to your child about sex
- Asking them to do sexual things on webcam
- Asking to meet up if they’ve only met them online
- Requesting sexual pictures
- Forcing them into sexual activity
- Making them feel unsafe
CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency and can investigate what is happening – with the assurance that the safety and wellbeing of your child is paramount at all times.
If you are concerned that your child is in immediate danger, call 999.