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Safer Internet Centre

Do you have a cyberbullying or digital safety concern?

helpline@saferinternet.org.uk 0844 381 4772

Grandparents

As a grandparent you play a key role in helping your grandchild to stay safe online.

Remember, you don’t need to be an expert on the internet to help keep your grandchild safe online. With our key advice you can be comfortable in knowing that you are able to support your grandchild in using the internet safely and responsibly, as well as knowing how to respond if something goes wrong.

As a grandparent, it is important to:

  • have a knowledge of the latest online threats, risks and trends
  • understand the rules already in place for your grandchild’s internet use
  • ensure you know about parental controls
  • talk to your grandchild about their online life
  • know when to speak to their parent/carer
  • take action if something goes wrong

 

Below we set out some FAQs and highlight key resources which will support you in supporting your grandchild online.

FAQs

How can I understand the latest technologies and trends?

We have some helpful guides to the most popular social media services and you can also see the NSPCC's NetAware guide. 

You can also sign up to our newsletter which will share our latest blogs and highlight new trends.

If you use social media yourself, you can also follow the UK Safer Internet Centre on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest online safety news.

It is always worth talking to your grandchild, and their parent/carer too, to find out what they are using online and what they enjoy doing online. You could even have a go at playing on their favourite games or downloading their favourite apps to learn more about them for yourself!

How can I understand my roles and responsibilities in relation to online safety?

The first thing to do is talk to your grandchild’s parent/carer and find out what rules are already in place in terms of their internet use. It is important to be consistent and follow these whenever you are spending time with your grandchild or looking after them when they have access to the internet. It is also worth checking in regularly with them to ensure you are up to date if any changes arise. If they have a family agreement for online use, it would be worth asking for a copy of this. If you regularly look after your grandchild you could explore being added into their family agreement too.

What should I know about parental controls?

Many parent/carers will have parental controls set up through their broadband service. Parental controls give families the option to have more control over the way the internet is accessed at home. For example, certain websites or search terms can be blocked, and time limits can be put in place. It is always worth finding out what they have in place and setting these up on your home broadband too, for when your grandchild is using the internet at your home. You can find out more about the parental controls that are available by checking out this page.

How can I talk to my grandchild about their online life?

It’s a great idea to ask your grandchild questions about their online life, such as ‘What apps/games/sites are you using at the moment?’ or ‘What’s your favourite thing to do online?’ Encourage them to share what they enjoy, as well as any concerns they may have, about their online life and make them aware that they can come to you if they are ever worried about anything online. Our ‘Let’s talk about life online’ resource is great in supporting open conversation and gives advice on how to begin discussions around their online life.

Children can sometimes be less reluctant to share sensitive topics with their parent/carer, so it’s important you are there to listen and support without judgement. Remember, depending on the nature of what they are telling you, some things will need to be passed on to their parent/carer too.

Where can I go for help or to report something worrying or inappropriate?

However hard we try, and even if we have parental controls in place, things can still go wrong online. First and foremost, support your grandchild and ensure they are okay. The fact they have come to you with a problem is a good thing. There are a number of organisations that can help. Take a look at the Need help? page which has more information on making reports online. There is also lots more useful information on our Resources page. And remember, make sure you speak to their parent/carer if anything does go wrong online so they can help support them, and you, too.