Online Safety Portal for Parents

We believe the strongest influence in a young person’s life is within the family and by extension, the wider community: we all have a responsibility to help keep young people safe in the on-line world.

Online safety is a whole community issue and this portal is designed to improve parents' knowledge and understanding of the risks their young person may face online. It also provides practical strategies and advice to help you keep your young person safe online and signposts to further resources and reporting sites which may be of use.

You don’t need to be an expert on the internet to help keep your young person stay safe online. Our advice and resources are here to support you as you support your young person to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively.

Privacy Setting Guides

This site will focus on enabling you to help your young person adjust their privacy settings for the main social media sites.

Privacy settings are extremely important as they allow you to control who can access the things you post. Getting them right can make all the difference.

Since many employers now check a person's social media profiles when considering whether or not to hire someone, it is more important than ever to keep the things you share with just your trusted friends out of the public domain.

You should always continue to check your privacy settings so that you can continue to share with your friends without having to worry.

Below are the official guides for privacy settings for the main social media sites.

How to use Privacy Settings

You can read through the following advice with your young person.

Be Strict About Who You Share With

With privacy settings, you should start by sharing as little as possible and then, gradually, allow more. So start by hiding posts to anyone who is not set as a close friend and then decide each time you post if you want to allow more people to see it.

Check All Public Posts

There are some cases where you want the public to see your posts. You may, for example, have a small business and want to advertise, or you might have some great work on a blog or website that you want the world to see. In this case, you should first ensure that your content is exactly how you want it. Check all photos to ensure they paint you in a good light and make sure the language is public friendly and is free from grammatical errors.

Create a Positive Online Presence

In some cases, employers can look badly on someone who has no social media presence at all, since they have no way to check what you are like, so you should look to have a positive online public image. A good way to do this is to set up a LinkedIn account that you use to showcase the work you do and create an online CV.

Be Vigilant

You should regularly check to make sure nothing is showing that shouldn't. You can do this by typing your name into Google to see what comes up about you to the public. If you find something that you don't want the public to see, use the guides above to hide them. These can include:

  • Revealing images
  • Photos of drunken nights out
  • Posts with negative opinions
  • Lots of swearing

Remember, employers are not always into the same things you are, so you don't want to offend them or look like you are a party animal. Your public online presence should display someone who has a good work ethic and is enthusiastic about what they do.

Useful Website

This site rates movies, apps, games, websites and more with the safety of young people in mind. As a parent, you can go to this site and see how other sites are rated in terms of education value, violence, explicit language and much more. You can access the site at https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

Be Internet Legends from Google and Parent Zone teaches children to become safer and more confident online by encouraging them to follow a simple code: Sharp, Alert, Secure, Kind and Brave.