Keep Your Kids Safe Online with These Tips

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 22 April 2020
Victoria Logan
Allstate NI
Issues covered:

Prepared by Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids

With children across the world spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also likely spending more time online as parents and caregivers try to keep kids entertained, educated, and relaxed. To help you navigate this topic during this unprecedented time, we’re sharing our top tips to keep your kids safe online.

Download our printable cybersecurity themed activity book for your kids (link at the end of this article).

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4, 8 to 11-year olds have a social media profile
  • 1 in 4 children have experienced something upsetting on a social networking site
  • 1 in 3 internet users are children

The online world plays an increasingly large role in children’s day to day lives. Unfortunately, just like in the real world the online world isn’t always a nice place. We want every child to be Cyber Safe. That means being safe online and knowing when to Stop, Think and Tell.


Friend or pretend

Some people will try to use online chat rooms and social media to groom young children. It could happen online via chat, webcam, images or through a physical meeting.

What can I do?

Explain that talking to strangers isn’t always ‘bad’, but they should always be careful about what they share. Sometimes people aren’t who they say they are. Ask your child if they know how to use the reporting function within chat rooms or social media sites. Show them how to block someone and how to keep information private. Be on the lookout for signs that your child may be being targeted.

Signs to look out for:

  • Is there a change in your child’s behaviour?
  • Has your child become very secretive?
  • Are they withdrawn but won’t say why?
  • Are they unable to switch off from their phone or social media?
  • Is your child going to unusual places to meet friends?
  • Do they have new items such as clothes or a mobile phone which they can’t or won’t explain?


Beware what you share

Children these days want to share everything with their friends. Your child may be giving their personal details to people they have never met. It’s not always possible to verify people’s identities online.

What can I do?

  • Talk to your child about the importance of not sharing their personal details online.
  • Check if your child is old enough to use social media websites. Many social media sites require that users are over 13.
  • Check the settings on your child’s social media apps. Ensure that they are not publicly searchable and everything is set to “private” or “friends only”.
  • Talk with your child and explain that a photograph posted online is permanent and could end up anywhere.


Don’t be mean on screen

Every child has the potential to be unintentionally mean on screen.

What can I do?

Talk to your child about being kind online and stopping and thinking before they post.

Let them know that they can tell you if someone is being mean to them or a friend online.

If your child experiences cyberbullying

  • Listen without judging
  • Don’t remove access to technology -Your child may be discouraged from confiding in you if there is a threat of their access being removed.
  • Encourage non-retaliation - Bullies are often looking for a reaction.
  • Save evidence of the bullying -Take screenshots or save the messages.
  • Talk to their school - Schools have anti-bullying policies in place that can help.
  • Talk to the police - This is critical if you think your child is in immediate danger.


 Top 5 things you can do

  1. Talk to your child about staying safe online.
  2. Explore their online world together.
  3. Agree on rules of what’s OK and what’s not OK.
  4. Manage your family’s internet settings and controls.
  5. If you don’t know where to start, check out resources at   


Allstate Cyber Safety for Kids Activity Book

With our world being a little crazier than usual, many of us have kids at home. If you’re looking for a few minutes to catch up on your email - or just catch your breath - we feel you.

Download our printable activity book for your kids. This book has cybersecurity themed colouring pages, puzzles, games, and other activities that they can enjoy. We hope this can free up an hour or two for you to get some work done while at home.

Download here


Want to find out more?

Visit our website for more tips and tricks -

If you are worried about your child, please contact your local police force.

Additional Resources  

Legal Island Training Resource

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This article is correct at 22/04/2020

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Victoria Logan
Allstate NI

The main content of this article was provided by Victoria Logan.

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