Safer Internet Day – 8th February 2022

All fun and games?
Exploring respect and relationships online

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Top Tips

Top Tips for use with 3-7s

Let’s create an internet where we are….

Free to be ourselves

Be proud of all the things that you enjoy, and keep on trying different things too. If there are new activities that you want to do online, ask an adult first to help you find them – to check they’re ok for you.

Free to be kind 

Remember, the rules that you follow every day in real life also apply when you’re on the internet. It’s important to treat other people the way that you would like to be treated and always think about their feelings.

Free to play

It’s really important that your parents and carers know what you enjoy doing online, so that they can help you when you need it. Using the internet together as a family is really fun, and you’ll be the best teacher when it comes to showing everyone your favourite games!

Free to be safe

Some parts of your identity must stay private. This is your ‘personal information’ – which includes your name, date of birth, home address, school address, email address and passwords.

Free to talk 

If anyone, or anything, online makes you feel worried, upset or uncomfortable, tell a trusted adult straight away. The sooner someone knows how you feel, the sooner you can be helped.

Top Tips 7-11 year olds

Have a look at the tips and links below with some suggestions on how to get you started and help you to stay safe and positive online.
Let’s create an internet where we are….

Free to be creative

The internet is a great place to experiment with how to represent yourself. Whether that is using filters or emojis, or giving your avatar wings and green hair in a game, remember to have fun and use the internet to release your inner creativity!

Free to be different

The internet allows us to find more of the things we like or relate to, but it’s also a place where we can learn about people who are different to us. The internet can be a great place to express the things that make you special or unique. Let’s celebrate the fact that so many different people are using it!

Free to feel safe

Always keep your personal information safe online. There are lots of ways you can express yourself without giving this away. Remember that other people online may not always be who they appear to be, so be sure to check with an adult if you are ever unsure about what to share or who you are chatting to online.​

Free to expect respect

If someone is treating you or your friends unkindly online, or not respecting you for who you are, you can use the block and report buttons to take positive action to stop it, and make sure you tell someone too. Remember to support your friends, and show others how to be respectful and kind online.

Free to ask for help

If you are ever unsure about something you see online, or anything makes you feel worried, upset or confused then ask an adult that you trust for some help and advice.

Top Tips for 11-18 year olds

Have a look at the tips and links below with some suggestions on how to get you started and help you to stay safe and positive online.
Let’s create an internet where we are….

Free to embrace difference

Broaden your feeds by making sure you follow a range of people who inspire, excite or interest you. You can also like and share posts from people who are not well represented online, or who are doing something to tackle this representation gap. Sometimes people worry what others will think if they like or share something a bit different, but there are lots of people doing great things online who we can all help to include and celebrate.

Free to care

Reach out to people or groups who are being targeted online. These are the people who deserve our attention, not those who are being mean. Report negative comments and show support to the person being affected. We can all help to make sure that messages, that make people feel the internet is not for them, are taken down and that others do not have to see them. A small step or action can make a huge difference to someone who has been targeted.

Free to express yourself

The internet is a place where you can express your ideas, thoughts and feelings. This is what makes the internet great!  Being free to express yourself also means that you have the responsibility to be respectful so that everyone online feels free too. Only share what you are comfortable with and remember that your personality, interests and identity are made up of many different things – so make the most of it. ​

Free to ask for help

It can sometimes be hard to ask for help especially if you don’t know what to say, or what might happen next. Find someone that you trust and go to them if something happens online that makes you feel worried, upset or confused. People who care about you want to help you. Even if they don’t know all the answers, you can figure it out together. Asking for help is never a weakness and talking to someone can make all the difference.

Free to explore and investigate

The internet is a place with so many different types of content – from communities, videos and music, to apps, filters and information. You can use it to find information on pretty much any topic that you are interested in! We all have different sides to ourselves, and the internet allows to you to explore so much. Whilst it’s great there’s so much information, not all of it is trustworthy or helpful. Use your critical thinking skills and talk to those around you to figure out what is reliable, helpful and good for your mental health. 

Top Tips for Parents and Carers

These top tips have been written for you, parents and carers, to share and talk about with your children. It’s never too early to talk about life online!
Let’s create an internet where we are….

Free to talk

Talk regularly with your child about how they use technology. Find out how they like to represent and express themselves online, and how being online makes them feel. Listening to your child will give you the best possible idea of how you can support them. Not sure where to begin? Have a look at our suggested ‘Conversation Starters‘ for parents and carers.

Free to explore differences

The internet is a place where lots of different people can communicate and come together. For some children, the first place they see people who are different to them may be online. For others, the internet may be the one place where they can find people similar to them. Acknowledge the different types of identities your child may see online, and use these to spark discussions around diversity and inclusivity. Talk to your child about being respectful to everyone online, and what to do if they feel their own identity is being targeted. Use our ‘Quick Activities‘ as a family this Safer Internet Day to help you unpick this topic together.

Free to make the internet work for your family

There are lots of tools to help you manage the devices used by your family. For example, knowing how to activate and use parental controls can help protect your child from seeing inappropriate content online. For advice and guidance on how to make use of parental controls and other safety features on devices, check out our free Parents’ Guide to Technology.

Free to get involved

As parents and carers, it’s natural to feel worried about the risks posed by your child being online, but for young people the internet offers a wealth of exciting and fun ways to explore and experiment with their identity. This might be through the characters they choose on games, the filters or emojis they use on profile pictures, the content they share, or the sites and services they use. Spend some time with your child looking at, or interacting with, the things they do online. Talk about both the positive and negative aspects of being online, and empower your child with safe choices they can make – instead of overwhelming them with restrictions.

Free to seek help and support

It can sometimes feel like young people are the experts in all things digital but remember – you are the life experts. Find out how to get more support by visiting Childnet’s ‘Need Help?‘ page. You can take steps to support your child online by using features such as privacy settings on social media and understanding how to make a report on a range of apps, games and services.
Just as we tell young people to talk about what they are unsure of, make sure you do too! Chances are that you’ll find other parents or carers who are trying to figure out how to make the internet work for their family! You don’t need to know all the answers straightaway but reassure your child that you can figure it out together. Maybe there isn’t an answer, but what your child is looking for is comfort.