How the helpline works
The professional’s online safety helpline has been in operation for 10 years, in this time the helpline has handled over 10,000 contacts and helped with over 7000 online safeguarding issues. As part of the UK Safer Internet centre, the helpline is operated by SWGFL.
How we can help
Available to professionals
The helpline is available to anyone working with children and young people dealing with any online safety issues. We mostly hear from schools but we support all sorts of people and organisations such as; police, social care, sports clubs, churches, mosques and other places of worship, further education settings, small charities, soft play spaces, and more.
Free and independent advice
The Professionals Online Safety Helpline is a free service for professionals and volunteers working with children and young people. It provides signposting, advice and mediation to resolve online safety issues staff face about themselves, such as protecting professional identity and online harassment, or problems affecting young people, for example cyber-bullying or sexting issues.
The helpline is open Monday to Friday, during normal working hours, and we aim to respond to calls within 3 hours where possible. The main benefit of using our helpline is our exceptional contacts with industry partners, which enables us to report issues to a real person, and also for them to keep us up to date with policy and reporting changes.
So you got naked online
A resource that offers children, young people and parents advice and strategies to support the issues resulting from sexting incidents
A resource that helps professionals understand the current resources available to support any safeguarding issues regarding sexting.
Guidance about what we can do to support schools and professionals being affected by impersonation.
Reporting through social media
A comprehensive guide to help you understand the different community guidelines for each website, with information on how we can and cannot assist you with reporting various forms of online content.
Responding to digital ghost stories
A video around how to de-escalate and manage online challenges, digital ghost stories and hoaxes.
Impact and effects of social media fame
This blog looks at the impact social media fame can bring to individuals across all ages and considers what factors users should be aware of when wanting to find fame online.
The dark web – responding to incidents
An introductory explanation about the dark web, helping to demystify it and also to put forward suggestions about responding if a young person is using the platform.
Articles from the Helpline
Children must understand risk as UK schools say pupils abusing AI to make sexual imagery of other children
Initial reports show schoolchildren in the UK are now using AI to generate indecent images of other children, with experts…
Phone Banning in Schools – Considerations from David Wright (Director of UKSIC)
New guidance is being introduced to ban phones in schools across England. David Wright (UKSIC Director) shares his thoughts on…
Online Safety Bill – How the UK Safer Internet Centre Campaigned for Online Appeals Processes
In this article, we explain our journey towards how we campaigned for stronger online appeals processes to be included as…
Top trends and issues reported to the helpline
Contact the helpline here
We are primarily a signposting, advice, and mediation service, so any urgent risk to children should be dealt with via normal safeguarding procedures.
Due to the nature of the service, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, although we will endeavour to protect anonymity where possible and will discuss beforehand if we need to share information with other relevant agencies.
If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to call us or leave an email.
“We were really impressed by the Helpline and the advice provided was excellent, very relevant and consistent. Thank you so much!”
“That’s brilliant – thank you for your quick reply and very wise words.”
“That’s brilliant thank you! I will definitely promote this service!”
“Thank you, the work you guys do I appreciate so much. Never thought I would find myself in a situation like this however it’s great to know that there are sites such as yours which provide good and sensible advice – it really restores your faith in humanity after something like this. Thank you.”
Be in the know
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for young people at your care. Each sent once per month.