For Parents

As a parent it is normal to worry about your child's safety, particularly if it is in an area that you don't really feel comfortable with yourself.

The best single bit of advice that we can give you is, right from an early stage, have honest, open, non-judgemental conversations with your child about what they are doing online. If you start to judge them it is likely that they will feel reluctant to tell you what they are doing. 

Try not to focus too much on the technology. Understanding what they are doing and why they are doing it is far more important than how they are doing it. If you do want to know more about the technology side then the NSPCC has created Share Aware to help. The NSPCC has is also working with O2 to help support you. You can even book an appointment with an O2 Guru to help you make sure you've set your technology up to be as safe as possible. You don't even need to be an O2 customer.

Internet Matters is full of good advice for parents too. 

If your child comes to you and asks you for help after they have sent a naked selfie - STAY CALM - they need your help. It will be difficult, you will want to protect them. The best way to do this is to make them feel supported and then see what you can do. Help them try and take the photo down. If the photo is on one of the more conventional social media pages you can report it to directly to the social media providers. It will be a breach of their terms and conditions and they will want to take it down. If you are struggling with the social media provider then you can report it to the Internet Watch Foundation who will help try and take it down too.

Vodafone provide lots guidance in the Digital Parenting Magazine as does the ThinkUKnow website which is run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection centre.

If you are getting confused by all these different agencies, charities and organisations and the many places to go to for advice the positives we would offer you are that they are all saying the same thing. They are also taking the issue seriously which means that you are not alone.

The poster opposite is based on advice young people gave us at our November 2016 conference for parents. It is worth taking a few minutes to look at it and maybe pick up some points from them.