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Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online during the government's response to coronavirus (COVID-19)


The DFE have updated their information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:




 Online Safety and Coronavirus for parents

Children and young people’s lives have changed dramatically because of the coronavirus. With social distancing measures and most schools closing, children will be spending more time at home and online.

While the internet is a great way for children and young people to stay in touch with their friends and keep busy during lockdown, it can also bring risks. Now more than ever it’s important to talk to your child about staying safe online and about the apps and sites they’re using. 


Starting a conversation about online safety
It can be difficult to know how to start talking to your child about what they’re doing online or who they might be speaking to. But talking regularly, like you would about their day at school, will help your child feel relaxed and mean that when they do have any worries, they’re more likely to come and speak to you. It can help to:

- reassure them that you're interested in their life, offline and online. Recognise that they'll be using the internet to research homework as well talking to their friends
- ask your child to show you what they enjoy doing online or apps they’re using so you can understand them.
- be positive but also open about anything you're worried about. You could say "I think this site's really good" or "I'm a little worried about things I've seen here."
- ask them if they're worried about anything, and let them know they can come to you.
- ask them about their friends online and how they know they are who they say they are.
- listen for the reasons why your child wants to use apps or site you don't think are suitable, so you can talk about these together.
- ask your child what they think's okay for children of different ages so they feel involved in the decision making.


How could my child feel talking about online safety?
For children, online life is real life. It can help to think about how your child could feel sharing what they're doing online before you talk to them.

Some emotions they could be feeling are:
- uncomfortable
- worried
- annoyed
- confused
- happy


Online safety support
Visit Net Aware
Get expert advice on the top apps, sites and games children are using, how to set up parental controls, latest news and more at:

Speak to an O2 guru in store- NSPCC are in partnership with O2
They can help you set up parental controls. You don't have to be an O2 customer!

Call the O2 NSPCC Advice Line
For advice on how to set up parental controls, privacy settings or around social media, call 0808 800 5002 to speak to the experts.

Play Parents vs Kids
Parents vs Kidsis a fun, interactive quiz played on Alexa, phone or tablet in which parents and children can challenge each other to see who knows more about the online world. Find more at:


Worried about a child?
f you're worried about something a child or young person may have experienced online, you can contact the NSPCC helpline for free support and advice. Call on 0808 800 5000 or 

Childline is also a service provided by NSPCC which will provide free support and advice on 0800 1111




                                        Online Safety and Coronavirus for children

There are lots of fun and interesting things you can do on the internet. And it can be a great way to stay in touch with friends. But it’s important to understand how to stay safe online.

Sometimes people will try to trick you into clicking dangerous links or sharing things about yourself. Or something you’ve shared might be used to bully or frighten you.


5 ways to get support if things go wrong
- Talk to someone you trust like an adult, or you can always talk to a Childline counsellor on 0800 1111 or NSPCC helpline 0808 800 5000
- Report bullying and abuse directly to the website or app
- Delete things you’ve shared that you’re worried about, or find ways to hide them
- Tell the police by making a report to CEOP if someone is threatening or blackmailing you
- Plan for the future and change your privacy settings so it doesn’t happen again


Tips to Stay Safe Online
There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe online.
- Think before you post
Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.
- Don’t share personal details
Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.
- Watch out for phishing and scams
Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.
- Think about who you’re talking to
There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school. 
- Keep your device secure
Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure
- Never give out your password
You should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.
- Cover your webcam
Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it.


For further information and activities that you can learn even more about online safety, please use: and There is a resource pack attached at the bottom of this page (Be Internet Legends) that you can work together as a family on as well as accessing the Be Internet Legends website.


Are you worried?
Remember that you can always talk to a trusted adult or you can always talk to a Childline counsellor on 0800 1111 or NSPCC advisor on 0808 800 5000.