How To Keep Kids Safe Online


The internet has transformed the way we all live, learn and communicate. For children and young people the digital revolution has created so many opportunities. But it has also created risks. For every new piece of technology a new danger may present itself in a way that children, families and society may not immediately understand.

Children going online risk, among other things, seeing inappropriate material, becoming a victim of cyber-bullying or being coerced into sexting by their friends. The internet allows children to feel in control of situations, something they may not have in the real world, which can result in them being less inhibited and therefore more open in their communication and contact with others. Yet, children do not always comprehend the consequences of their actions and the pressure to be continually online may mean that children act in ways that are risky.

At Barnardo’s, we have been supporting victims of sexual exploitation for the last two decades, yet in the last few years our services have seen a change in the way children are being sexually exploited. Children are increasingly being contacted online and groomed into exploitative relationships. They are sometimes manipulated into sending sexual images of themselves or into meeting the offender(s) in person. All children online can be at risk, even those in the home. They may be online and enjoying communicating with new ‘friends’ and trying out apps that have few safeguards, with family and friends oblivious to the risks they are taking.

Whilst these risks may appear frightening to parents/guardians, there are many resources available to help them feel more confident and informed about the digital world children and young people live in. Children and young people are technologically and digitally savvy, often knowing more than their parents about new apps and technology. The focus of online safety should be on helping children understand the risks of going online and develop the tools to build their knowledge of the dangers and their understanding and resilience to it. This is a role that adults, and particularly parents/guardians, can play in helping keep children safe online, as they would in the offline world.

Materials and websites like this can only add to our ability to protect and support children and young people in our ever developing world of digital communication.

More Ways to Learn Internet Safety & Security

The Carnegie Cyber Academy

5th - High School | Online resource

The Carnegie Cyber Academy website provides online safety information and Carnegie Cadets: The MySecureCyberspace Game, an educational game that teaches kids about internet safety.


Internet Safety Tutorial

9th - College | Online resource

Staying safe online is essential in today’s world. Learn all about online safety and get Internet safety tips in this free tutorial. Introduction Introduction to Internet Safety Staying Safe Online...


Internet Safety for Kids Tutorial

College | Online resource

In this free Internet Safety for Kids tutorial, learn Internet safety tips for keeping kids safe from online predators and cyberbullies. Internet Safety for Kids 1 Teaching Kids About Internet...


Online Safety

Kindergarten - 3rd | Online resource

Timon and Pumbaa learn they need more than a computer or a game console to surf the web – they need safety smarts! Our friends learn the importance of protecting their personal information, how to...


Internet Safety: How to Keep Kids and Teens Safe Online

College | Online resource

Worried about internet safety? This guide will show you the dangers, and the solutions to keeping your children and teens safe online.


See all resources for Internet Safety & Security