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Tips from Internet Matters: How to keep your kids safe online

Published: 7th March 2024

Tips from Internet Matters: How to keep your kids safe online

What is Safer Internet Day?

Created by the UK Safer Internet Centre, Safer Internet Day is the UK’s biggest celebration of online safety. Each year it sees thousands of organisations get involved to promote the safe, responsible and positive use of digital technology for children and young people.

Internet Matters, a not-for-profit group launched in 2014, work with online safety experts to help children get the safe digital world that they deserve.

Here’s their best advice for kids and parents, as well as the tech companies that play a big part in our everyday lives.

What Internet Matters do to protect children online

Internet Matters supports parents, teachers and professionals with comprehensive resources and guidance to help them navigate the ever-changing world of child internet safety. Working with industry leaders, along with experts, government and schools, their website has everything parents need to make children’s online life fulfilling, fun and, above all, safe.

Top tips for spotting a fake

• Think about the intention: If someone’s trying to sell things or turn people against something, you might need to double-check that information.

• Look for obvious tells: Poorly designed websites or those with a lot of ads; strange movement in a video; audio that seems ‘off’; incorrect spelling or grammar.

• Use fact-checking tools: If you have any doubt, use the online tools available. Fact-checking sites like Full Fact can help confirm information. You can search and find an image source with Google Lens and use a search engine to find other sources that confirm or disprove that information.

• In all cases, if you feel like something is off or like it’s too good to be true, trust your gut. Don’t share anything you’re not 100% sure is true.

How can tech companies help?

Making sure children are safe while using new apps and games is important. Online platforms should make it clear how kids and parents can report or block harmful content. With easy-to-use reporting systems, online platforms can create a safer digital environment for children, while making it simple for parents to report anything that doesn’t look right. The platforms’ terms and conditions should be written in a way that’s easy for kids to understand. It’s also helpful if these platforms work together with online safety organisations to offer tips on how to stay safe online.

“We understand that the online world changes as fast as kids grow. We’re here to give parents not only the tools and advice, but the encouragement and support to keep talking, keep learning and keep updating to ensure every child stays safe and thrives in a digital world.” – Internet Matters

Parents: how you can support your kids

1) Regular conversations: Talk with your child about what they do online and who they do it with. You can do this when you’re already spending time together, so the conversation feels natural. Encourage an open and honest dialogue so they can come to you if there are issues. has advice, guides and activities that parents can do with their children to help encourage conversation.

2) Setting up safety: Install parental controls on your broadband and any internet-enabled devices. Most apps have their own parental controls and privacy settings so you can customise what your child can see and do online.

3) Stay involved: Encourage your child to use their tech devices in a communal area so you can keep an eye on how they’re using the internet. Ask them to show you or play together to learn about the platforms and teach them good habits.

A few months ago, First News asked readers: ‘Have you ever seen harmful content online?’ and 64% said yes. Protecting each other against this content has never been so important. Parents can find out more and watch guides about how to set up parental controls by visiting

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