Keeping your child safe online when they are off school
Thinkuknow has produced information for parents and carers about keeping children safe online whilst they are home. Below is some great information to help, along with links to find out more.
Thinkuknow is the national online safety education programme from CEOP, the online child protection
command of the National Crime Agency.
Thinkuknow helps parents, carers, teachers and others keep children safe from sexual abuse, offering
learning activities, advice and support for children and young people aged 4-18 and their families.
While school is closed, here’s what you can do to keep your child stay safe while they are learning, staying
in touch with family and friends, and having fun online.
8 steps to keep your child safe online
1. Explore together: Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do
on them. Listen, show interest and encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app.
2. Chat about online safety little and often: Young people are likely to want to explore new apps and
websites this month, whether that’s for learning or for fun. Take this opportunity to talk to them
about how to stay safe on these new services, and in general. Ask if anything ever worries them
while they’re online. Make sure they know that if they ever feel worried, they can get help by
talking to you or another adult they trust.
3. Help your child identify trusted adults who can help them if they are worried: This includes you
and other adults at home, as well as adults from wider family, school or other support services who
they are able to contact at this time. Encourage them to draw a picture or write a list of their
4. Be non-judgemental: Explain that you would never blame them for anything that might happen
online, and you will always give them calm, loving support.
5. Talk about how their online actions can affect others: If your child is engaging with others online,
remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they
are considering sharing a photo/video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.
6. Parental controls: Make use of the parental controls available on your home broadband and any
internet enabled device in your home. You can find out more about how to use parental controls by
visiting your broadband provider’s website.
7. Direct your child to age appropriate information about relationships and sex: It’s natural for
young people to start exploring their sexual feelings online and adolescents are more inclined to
take risks. It’s important to understand this and to talk to your child in a positive way. Thinkuknow,
Brook, The Mix and Childline all provide age appropriate information about relationships and sex
that you can signpost your child to.
8. Make sure they know about CEOP: Young people can report a concern about grooming or sexual
abuse to CEOP at www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/ and get support from a specialist Child
Support your child with Thinkuknow websites
The age-appropriate Thinkuknow websites are a great way to start and continue chats about online safety.
11-13s Thinkuknow website – https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13/
14+ Thinkuknow website – https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/14_plus/
Our websites provide open and honest guidance for young people on friends, relationships and the
internet, covering topics like dealing with pressure; consent; and getting support when you’re worried.
You’ll find lots more advice on keeping your child safe online at www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents.
If you’re worried that a child or young person is at risk of harm online, you should call the police. Young
people can make a report to CEOP at https://www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre/.
Other recommended resources
Parent Info – Expert information for parents about building their child’s resilience both online and off.
Produced by NCA-CEOP and Parent Zone. This free service can be embedded on to your child’s school
Brook – Information and advice for young people on sexual health and wellbeing, including staying safe
The Mix – Support service for young people with information and advice on sex and relationships.
Internet Matters – A useful tool showing how to set parental controls across a range of devices and
NSPCC Net Aware – Provides reviews and guidance on the most popular social networks, apps and games
that children use. https://www.net-aware.org.uk/
Childnet – Information and advice for parents and carers on supporting people online.
CEOP social media – @CEOPUK Twitter ClickCEOP on Facebook