Online safety and bullying advice for parents and carers

You do not need to be a technical expert to protect your child on the internet. Below are some very simple steps to get you started.

What should I do if I am worried about my child’s safety online?

  • Talk to your child about the websites, games and apps that they use. By understanding and involving yourself in their internet use, you are helping them keep safe.
  • Be positive about the internet and remember that it is a fantastic learning and communication tool
  • Try not to overreact to minor issues. Children often worry that you may take away their internet access, they may become secretive and hide problems from you.
  • Keep PCs, laptops and games consoles out of bedrooms wherever possible. Having the laptop in a family room makes it easier for you to monitor your child’s internet use, whilst still giving them privacy.
  • Set clear and consistent ground rules and expectations for your child’s online behaviour. If they understand what is and is not acceptable, it may help them with any problems in the future.

Online safety family agreement

A family agreement is a great way to start a conversation with your whole family about how you all use the internet and discuss together how to behave in a positive way when online at home, at school or at a friend’s house. If young people are at the heart of setting the rules they are more likely to buy into them.

Another good idea is to get young people to set the consequences. To start talking about online safety you can download the family agreement

More online safety information

  • Parent info - provides up-to-date, expert information for parents on a range of concerns.
  • Thinkuknow - an award-winning on and offline safety programme with resources for parents.
  • Internet Matters - advice and support for parents to keep their children safe online.

What should I do if my child is being bullied?

Bullying can happen to anyone, in person, online, or even both. But no one has the right to make your child feel upset or bad about themselves. There are lots of things you can do to support your child if they are being bullied.

Northamptonshire County Council take bullying very seriously that’s why we came up with TALK:

  • Take note – log what your child is telling you or screen grab information if your child is being bullied online. 
  • Action – speak to your child’s school calmly and pass on any information you have logged.
  • Listen – to what your child is telling you, what the school or organisation is telling you and don’t jump to conclusions.
  • Know – who to talk to and where to get support from, there are some wonderful organisations out there offering some great advice.

Where can I find more information on bullying?

  • ChildLine have some great resources aimed at young people and we really recommend their ‘Bounce back from bullying’ section, you could work through this with your child.
  • Bullying UK have great advice if you are worried that your child is being bullied.
  • Anti-Bullying Alliance have an interactive anti-bullying tool that aims to give you information in an interactive way.
  • Bullying UK - how to spot the signs of bullying