Keeping Young People Safe Online

Privacy and Safety Settings

Knowing how to protect your privacy while online is key. While the internet may look or feel individual, it’s very much a public space. Users can be lulled into a false sense of security and become complacent with privacy settings. This heightens the risk of harm or unintended exposure of personal or sensitive information, beyond its intended audience. Parents, carers and safeguarding professionals should empower young people to take control of their online presence by utilising the safety settings on the platforms they use.

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What you need to know

All children and young people should be protected as much as possible while navigating the online world. Parents and safeguarding professionals have the responsibility to equip young people to make use of existing privacy and safety features on platforms, apps and devices. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Set accounts to private: Encourage your young person to set their accounts to private and manage how much information they allow other users to see.
  • Teach healthy online behaviours: Educate young people about protecting their personal information, practicing safe online behaviour, and being cautious when sharing content or interacting with strangers online.
  • Location settings: It is important to teach young people of the dangers of sharing their location. Whilst it can be a good safety tool for sharing with family or close friends to let them know you have got home safe, if shared with people you do not know that well, it could present very real risks.
  • Report and blocking features: Sit down and show the young person in your care different reporting and blocking features available within apps and online, and when they should be used.

How to set parental controls

Internet Matters have created simple and straightforward step by step parental controls guides to help you set up the right controls and privacy settings on the networks, gadgets, apps, and sites children use to give them a safer online experience.

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.