The internet, mobile technologies and social media all provide children and young people with vast opportunities for learning, communication and support.
However, increasing reliance on online technologies also makes children and young people potentially vulnerable to people seeking to exploit technology for malicious purposes.
Risks associated with the digital technology include:
- Exposure to obscene, violent or distressing material
- Bullying, coercion, or intimidation through email, messaging and social media (“cyber-bullying”)
- Sharing personal images without permission
- Identity theft and abuse of personal information
- Exposure to material concerning harm to health such as eating disorders, self-harm or suicidal ideation
- Sexual exploitation by online predators (including grooming and sexting)
Parent Club's 2022 Child Online Safety campaign
Parent Club offers up-to-date guidance from the Scottish Government on children’s health and education. Read about their Child Online Safety campaign and find some practical ideas and advice to help keep children safe online.
Indecent images of children
The UK Home Office has updated the supporter pack which accompanies its Steering clear campaign.
This campaign aims to educate and empower young men aged 18-24 to navigate the internet more responsibly by increasing their understanding of: how to report sexual images of children; the law relating to indecent images of children (IIOC); and the harm caused to victims of indecent images of children.
The campaign was developed in partnership with the NSPCC, Marie Collins Foundation and the Internet Watch Foundation.
Barnardo’s (2015) Digital Dangers The impact of technology on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people
- Barnardo’s Child Safety on the Internet
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) – where you can report inappropriate, illegal or indecent images involving children
- Internet Matters - backed by prominent internet industry players (e.g. BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media), Internet Matters work with national, local and charitable bodies to keep children and young people safe online
- Internet Watch Foundation – where you can anonymously and confidentially report child sexual abuse content and non-photographic child sexual abuse images
- NSPCC what is online abuse?
- NSPCC online safety advice
- Ofcom Protecting Children
- Police Scotland Keep Secure Online
- Stop it Now! - UK and Ireland child sexual abuse prevention campaign and Helpline Call 0808 1000 900
- ThinkUKnow – a CEOP website with resources to download on child internet safety for use by children, parents/carers and teachers/trainers