From an early age we are taught about the potential dangers posed by some strangers and the ways to avoid getting into difficult or unsafe situations. Unfortunately some children and teenagers do not use the same caution when using the internet.

The Sex Offences Act 2003 protects children from abusers who groom children in internet chat rooms. Grooming is a process adopted by an abuser that is normally very subtle, calculated and controlling. Once contact is made, it can escalate very quickly to mobile phone calls, text messaging and eventually face to face contact. 

Using the internet safely

It is vitally important that children today are encouraged and educated to surf the internet safely. If your children understand the risks and can make sensible and informed choices online, they can get the most from the internet and stay safe whilst doing so. You can help by following these simple rules:

  • Keep computers in a central place

  • Know when your children go online

  • Never use your real name
  • Never give out  personal details such as addresses, phone numbers, schools etc
  • Communicate responsibly - if you wouldn't say it, don't write it
  • Remember people online might not be who they say they are
  • Be careful with the information you share - you may be telling the world
  • Be selective about the photos you post on social networking sites
There is further information at the following websites: - making the internet safer safe surfing for young people - staying safe on the internet - online safety - guide for parents

Date of last review: 15 August 2017