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Technology and online safety

  • 1-5 Years
  • 5-11 Years
  • 11-19 Years
  • SEND
  • Parents and Carers
  • Staying safe and accident prevention
Young girl on mobile phone with a younger boy peering over her shoulder to look at the mobile phone.

Many children regularly use the internet to watch videos, use apps, make video calls, and listen to music. It’s full of entertaining, interesting and funny information. It’s also a great way to connect with friends and family, but, it can be a dangerous place. As a parent or carer it is important to understand how the internet works and that your child is using it safely. 

Understanding the online world

Children and teenagers of all ages enjoy using technology. Most children and young people have their own phone, computer or tablet. Or they are able to use their parent’s or friend’s.

The internet can be an interesting, useful and entertaining tool. But as a parent, you may feel concerned about the activities and content your child can access.

Anyone can add information, images and videos. No one checks to make sure that the content is appropriate for others to access. There is nothing stopping children watching things that are aimed at adults. So, it’s important that your child is using the internet safely.  

Issues your child may face online

The internet keeps a record of everyone’s online behaviour. This includes photos we upload, comments other people make about us and the things we buy. Anyone can take a screenshot of something online, so even if your child or young person deletes something they have shared, other people may have a record. It’s important your child understands how things they say and do online can affect them later in life. 

As a child becomes more independent online, they may come across things which are inappropriate for their age or stage of development.

Read more about parental controls.

This is a type of bullying that happens online. It can happen on social media, apps and online games. It can have negative effects on your child’s mental health and wellbeing. 

Read our information on behaviours, emotions and mental health.

The internet makes it easy for children to talk to people online they don’t know. Online grooming is when an adult tricks or forces a young person into doing something. For example, sexual activity, sending inappropriate images or starting a relationship with them.

Read more about online grooming.

The internet allows children and young people to speak to people online who may lead them to adopting extreme views or experiencing radicalisation. 

You know your child best, so trust your instincts if you think something might be wrong. Read more about protecting children from radicalisation.


Tips for helping your child or young person stay safe online


Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Staying safe and accident prevention for additional needs

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

Reporting internet crime in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough

If you or your child have concerns about any images or videos you’ve seen or received on the internet you can:

Safeguarding People

The Safeguarding People team safeguards and promotes the health and welfare of all children and young people. 

If you think that a child or young person is being abused or neglected in:

  • Peterborough: 01733 864170 (9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)
  • Cambridgeshire: 0345 045 5203 (8am to 6pm Monday to Friday)
  • Outside office hours, at weekends and on public holidays contact the emergency duty team on 01733 234724
  • Email:

As a member of the public, you do not have to give your name and your conversation will be treated confidentially.

Support for children and young people

  • Children aged 11 to 19 can text ChatHealth for confidential advice. To speak to a school nurse they can text 07480 635 443.
  • Children can call Childline on 0800 1111 or chat to a counsellor online.

Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s safety, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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