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Guest blog: Staying safe online

Posted: Tuesday 9th February 2016
Blog: Blogs

At the Young Victims’ Service we work 1:1 to support children and young people who have been affected by crime and anti-social behaviour in Avon and Somerset. We notice that a large number of our referrals come from young people that have experienced some form of cybercrime. Here we offer our advice and top tips on how young people can stay safe online and what parents and carers can do to help:

Advice for Young People:

1 - Personal details are personal, don’t share them online. This includes your phone number, school, bank details etc.

2 - Do not give anyone your password, this includes your BFFs!

3 - Posting or sharing inappropriate photos of yourself, or anyone else, can be viewed as distributing pornography. It is illegal to take possess or share ‘indecent images’ of anyone under 18 even if you’re the person in the picture.  Remember if you wouldn’t share it with your parents or your gran you probably shouldn’t share it online.

4 - Never, never, never meet face-to-face with anyone where you first ‘met’ online.  #staysafe

5 – Always use privacy settings and report unwanted attention. If something online has made you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, tell a trusted adult and find where to report it.


Tips for Parents and Carers:

1 - Explore online together, let them teach you!

2 - Use parental controls where possible, be aware of their passwords, and stick to age restrictions for apps and games.

3 - Talk through the difference between real and online and friendships, and also the consequences of how we speak to someone online. Know who your child is talking online to and keep an eye on how they are talking to them.  

4 - Set rules and boundaries about their time online – How long? What device(s)? Where? When?

5 - Become friends with your child online to help monitor what they are posting, and set a good example for online behaviour.


Don’t forget, new apps and websites are created all the time. The best rule is to have an ongoing, open and comfortable conversation about what your child is doing online.

Here’s a list of useful apps that parents and carers can use to help keep their child safe online:

  • Family Loop Safeguard
  • Mobicip Safe Brower (£5)
  • Kidslox – Parental Controls (£5)

If you feel your child, or a child you know, is struggling following a crime, please contact the Young Victims’ Service on 01275 884488 for a chat about how we can help.

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