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Lewisham Safeguarding Children Partnership

If you are worried about the welfare or safety of a child or young person

Email: mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk

Tel: 020 8314 6660

Online Safety

The internet is a great way for children and young people to connect with others and learn new things. It’s important that they learn how to do this safely.  This video highlights a social experiment “Follow me” by Barnardos.  We want to help you keep your child safe online just like you do in the real world.


The internet is a great way to connect with others and learn new things. It’s important you know how to stay safe and keep others safe online.
Top Tips for Staying Safe Online for Children & Young People

 feet iconBe careful what photos and video’s you post online or share with a “boyfriend or girlfriend”.  It can be difficult to control who can see them and how they will be shared, you may not want it to go viral!  Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your teachers or parents to see.  Taking, making, sharing and possessing indecent images and pseudo-photographs of people under 18 is illegal and you could be prosecuted.  A pseudo-photo is an image made by graphics or art which appears to be a photo. This can include, photo’s, video’s, tracings, and anything that can be converted into a photo.  You can read the full “Indecent Images of children: guidance for young people here 

feet iconBe careful who you talk to.  Someone might not be who they say they are.  Friends you make on-line are still strangers, even if you’ve been talking to them for a long time.  You can say no and/or log out of your computer.  Don’t meet up with friends you make online unless you’ve talked it through with an adult you trust first and they can help you stay safe. 

feet iconDon’t be afraid to block someone.  You don’t have to put up with bullying or seeing anything that you find upsetting.  Report it to the site administrator and talk to an adult you trust.  Remember you can choose to close the App or Website at any time.

feet iconAlways put the privacy settings on and don’t share personal information, including details like your date of birth, home address, email address, phone number, passwords or any other information that may be useful to someone who wants to bully or hurt you.

feet iconThink about how you’re feeling before you go online, could someone be offended or upset by what you’re saying or posting?  You may say something you regret later on and damage your reputation.   Your digital footprint will last forever, even if you have deleted something from your device or profile it may still be visible to other people on other networks.  It has been known for young people to find their college and / or job applications be affected by something they posted online.

feet iconUnfortunately, there are people who go online to bully others or get them to do things that could be illegal or harmful to you or others.  If you are bullied or are worried about anything you see, hear, or are asked to do something either online or in the real world, tell a parent or another trusted adult, like your teacher, or contact Junior Crimestoppers @ www.fearless.org .  Preserve evidence by saving or taking a screen shot of the message or material and report it to the site administrator – all sites have a no blame culture with children and young people.  You do not have to do anything you don’t want to or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. 

feet iconIf you see something on a social network site, a website, or someone tries to draw you into extremist or radicalised views, you can get help by contacting the Prevent Team, prevent@lewisham.gov.uk.

feet iconWe recommend you keep your knowledge and skills of staying safe in a digital world up-to-date by regularly looking at the ThinkUKnow website, however there are some other good sites you may also like to look at:-

Top Tips for Parents and Carers of Children & Young People in The Digital World

footprintsTo help your child to enjoy the experience of accessing the digital world we recommend you talk to your child about keeping themselves safe and what to do if they see or hear something that they find upsetting, like taking a screen shot of the evidence and reporting concerns to the site administrator, or the police via www.ceop.police.uk .  Remind them they can close the App or website at any time, and most importantly to talk to you if they are worried or upset.

footprintsWeb based information and social networking sites can increase the risk of a child or young person being groomed for sexual exploitation, criminal activity, general exploitation, or violent extremism.   It is common for the child or young person to not recognise they are being exploited or groomed.  The best way to make sure they stay safe is to have regular, open conversations with your child.  You can also look through the history browser to see what websites have been accessed.  If you do become worried that your child is being radicalised you can contact the Prevent Team, on 020 8314 6000 or email prevent@lewisham.gov.uk.  You can also report any other exploitation or abuse that takes place online the Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub on 020 8314 6660 or email mashagency@lewisham.gov.uk.

footprintsSometimes children and young people don’t think about the images they post online or share with their “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”.  In response to this, the government have issued guidance for children and young people on the sharing of indecent images, this can be read here:


footprintsOnline gaming via consoles, phones, and apps can provide a child access to talking to strangers and building “virtual friendships”.  It is important your child understands it can be dangerous to share personal information as the person may not be who they say they are.  Have a conversation with your child about this, particularly in case your child considers meeting up with someone they have spoken to online.  If you do agree to this, we recommend you meet with them too, as they may not be who they say they are and it could lead to your child being harmed.

footprintsWhen considering buying a game or app for your child, think about the recommended age restriction and research the game on YouTube first.  You may be surprised at the level of violence or content of some games and it may not be appropriate for your child’s age.

footprintsWe recommend you keep your knowledge and skills of staying safe in a digital world up-to-date and by regularly by looking at the ThinkUKnow website: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ and talking to your child about their experiences.

NSPCC On-line Safety has advice and tools to help keep your child safe online.

Think You Know provides advice on online parenting.  There is also further information at Think You Know training.

Child Exploitation & Online Protection (CEOP)

CEOPCEOP is there to support young people, parents and carers while surfing online, and offers help and advice on topics such as:

  • cyberbullying
  • hacking
  • harmful content

It also enables people to immediately report anything online which they find concerning, such as harmful or inappropriate content, or possible grooming behaviour. For more information, or to report concerns, simply click on the CEOP Icon


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