Keeping Young People Safe Online

Digital Wellbeing

Digital wellbeing is about ensuring a healthy use of technology by young people. It encompasses maintaining a balance between online and offline activities, promoting positive digital habits, and ensuring emotional well-being while engaging with digital platforms.

Click or Tap this box to learn more about where you can find support

For adults:

  • Text-A-Nurse: is a text messaging service for parents and carers to access professional nursing advice on young people’s health and wellbeing issues.
  • Parentline: is a free and confidential helpline and online chat service for parents and carers in Northern Ireland.
  • Parenting Focus: provide a free support line and webchat for parents and carers in Northern Ireland.
  • Lifeline: Northern Ireland’s crisis response helpline. If you, or someone you know, is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000. This is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow-up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Lifeline can access translators to speak to you in your preferred language, and British and Irish Sign Language users can also use the SignVideo app.
  • Action Fraud: To report online fraud or cybercrime, you can contact 0300 123 2040 or visit their website. 
  • Childnet: For help and advice on this topic, please visit this website.

What you need to know

By understanding the dynamics of a young person’s digital interactions, being aware of the content they consume, and recognising potential risks, parents and safeguarding professionals can foster safe and healthy habits for a child or young person’s relationship with the digital world.

Time management: Encourage setting limits on screen time and promoting a healthy balance between online activities, physical exercise, social interactions, and other responsibilities.

Privacy and security: Educate young people about protecting their personal information, practicing safe online behaviour, and taking care when sharing content or interacting with strangers online.

Digital detox: Advocate for regular breaks from digital devices to prevent excessive use and promote mental well-being. Engaging in offline activities, hobbies, and spending quality time with family and friends can foster a healthy digital-life balance.

Emotional wellbeing: Promote open communication and provide support for young people to navigate the challenges of the digital world. Encourage them to seek help if they encounter cyberbullying, harmful content, or experience negative emotions associated with their online experiences.

Welcome to the Online Safety Hub

How old are you?

If you are under 18, click the blue button below to visit the Online Safety Hub micro-site for children and young people.