Online Safety

Online safety simply means the safe use of technologies like computers, mobile phones, gaming consoles and the Internet.

Using these technologies is great fun and lots of people enjoy keeping in touch with friends and family through e-mail, writing blogs, sending text messages, playing games, instant messaging, listening to music, talking in chat rooms, sharing photographs... some of your children may even have a profile on a social networking site to do all of these fun things.


However, it is important for children to know that some people use these technologies to be unkind and nasty to others. In some cases they may even try to find out their personal information or try to cause them harm.

Please use this useful acronym to keep children safe online.

It's time to get SMART!

S - SAFE - Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information either to people you are chatting with online or by posting it online where other people can see it.

M - MEETING - Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present.

A - ACCEPTING - Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages!

R - RELIABLE - Someone online might lie about who they are, and information on the internet may not be reliable. Check information or advice with other websites, books, or someone who knows.

T - TELL - Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

Understanding Age Ratings

When it comes to navigating the online world, knowing what content is right for your child can sometimes seem a little daunting.

Why do we have them?

It’s simple!

Age ratings help you to make informed choices on the content your child may be viewing.

They protect you and keep you safe when playing and interacting online from sometimes scary, upsetting, and harmful content.

What do they look like?

Look for a number, word, or letter.

Age ratings are designed to be clear and are shown within a box or under a bold heading.

If you can’t find an age rating for a game or app, don’t worry! This is usually because the content you’re viewing or downloading is accessible for all ages.

If you’re unsure, read reviews from other users or consider downloading the app or game yourself to see if it’s suitable for your child.

How are age ratings given?

Online games, apps and social media platforms go through a classification process.

This means every piece of content is categorised to make sure we don’t view or play anything that may be unsuitable for us.

Does it contain bad language, violence, fear, discrimination, drugs, sex, gambling, or online interactivity? If so, this content will have a higher age rating.

Age ratings also consider whether a game or app:

Age ratings broken down

Don't panic!

We know age ratings can seem confusing so we've put together a quick guide for online games and social media to help get you started.

Online Games

If you’re child likes playing games online, look out for PEGI ratings.

The five age categories are PEGI 3, PEGI 7, PEGI 12, PEGI 16, AND PEGI 18.

Social Media

Does your child like talking, making dances or sharing pictures with friends?

Great! Having fun and socialising is super important but remember, doing this on social media has its dangers. This is why social media has age ratings too.

Most social media apps are rated either 13+ or 16+.