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Birmingham Safeguarding Children Partnership

The internet has revolutionised how we communicate and socialise with people 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  With access at our fingertips, it can be even more challenging to keep children and young people safe online, especially when they have their own computers, smartphones, tablets and games consoles.

As a parent, carer or a professional, it is important to educate yourself, children, and young people that, as well as the endless opportunities available through the internet and technology, there are also associated risks to be aware of.

Potential online risks can include:

  • Access and exposure to inappropriate/disturbing images and content
  • Access and exposure to racist or hate material
  • Sexual grooming, luring, abuse and exploitation by/with strangers
  • Sharing personal information with strangers that could identify and locate a child offline
  • Online bullying (cyber bullying) by peers and people they consider their ‘friends’
  • Being encouraged take part in violent behaviour
  • Sending or receiving sexually explicit films, images or messages of themselves or others (known as ‘sexting’ when sent by mobile phone)
  • Glorifying activities such as drug taking or excessive drinking
  • Physical harm to young people in making video content, such as enacting and imitating stunts and risk-taking activities
  • Leaving and running away from home because of contacts made online

Further information and practice guidance for professionals in the West Midlands is available in the regional child protection procedures.

NSPCC: Advice and support for adults concerned about a child.

CEOP – Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre: Organisation that works to stop child abuse on the internet.

Childnet: Information on benefits, risks and safety on the internet.

Get Safe Online: Unbiased, factual and easy-to-understand information on online safety.

Internet Matters: Supports parents and professionals with comprehensive resources and expert guidance to help them navigate the ever-changing world of child internet safety.

Which?: Information and advice on child internet safety.

ThinkUKnow: Resources for professionals about internet safety.

National Online Safety: Equips school staff, parents and children with the knowledge they need to understand online dangers and how best to react should an incident arise.