Internet safety advice for parents of young children

Internet safety advice for parents of young children

It is never too early to think about your child’s safety online. If you are a parent of a young child who is just starting to discover the online world, there are a few things to consider:


1.  Talk about Internet Safety with your Child

Have a conversation with your child on some of the important things to watch out for when going online for the first time. Young children will not be aware of the dangers, so it is very important to have a talk about who they talk to online and about sharing personal information online.

2. Use Parental Controls

Most internet technologies have built-in controls that allow you to limit the amount of time your child can spend online, restrict their access to adult content, and switch off functions like shopping and chatting. Filtering controls are particularly useful at preventing young children from accidentally encountering content that might bother them.

3. Disable In-App Purchases

Many apps and games offer in-app purchases giving user’s additional game functionality, additional points/bonuses which children can easily purchase without even realising. You can switch off in-app purchases using your phone/device settings.

4. Activate Safe Search

Help minimise the risk of your child coming across inappropriate content in response to search queries by activating safe search in your search engine.

5. Agree on what to do when things go wrong

We recommend that you speak to your child about what to do if they come across something on the internet that bothers them. This could involve closing the laptop lid, or turning off the screen, and coming to get you.

6. Set Up a Family Email

Set up a family email address that your children can use when signing up to new games and websites online.

7. Play it Safe

For young children we would recommend parents choose safe and appropriate games for their child to play online. Most games should have a PEGI rating to check what if they are age appropriate, parents should also check if a game allows for player interaction and if there is a safe chat mode.

For more information on gaming go to:


Talk to someone

Worried about something you have seen online or concerned about your child? Childline and the National Parents Council Primary offer free advice and support service.

Childline is a support service for young people up to the age of 18.There is a 24hr telephone, online and mobile phone texting service.

Get started

The National Parents Council Primary enables and empowers parents to be effective partners in their children’s education.

01 887 4477

Report Illegal Content

Sometimes you might unwittingly stumble across illegal online content like child abuse imagery. Always remember: you can report it and get it removed using

More on illegal content

Make a report exists to combat the distribution and proliferation of illegal content, like child sexual
abuse content, in conjunction with police and Internet Industry