WITH most children at home for the foreseeable future, it’s inevitable they’ll be spending more time online – at a time when they may be feeling lonely or anxious because of the lockdown.

Whilst this provides a lifeline, enabling home education and being able to socialise with friends, it’s important parents and carers know how to keep children safe in their digital worlds.

Online, there’s likely to be an increased risk of sexual abuse and exposure to harmful content with abusers ready to exploit the global pandemic to target young people as tech firms scale back on moderators.

It’s important children feel reassured about sharing worries with their parents, who I’d encourage to have regular conversations with their children about their online activity.

Resources like Net Aware , a site co-created by the NSPCC and O2, can help parents and children understand how to minimise the potential risks and ensure that online resources can be an important, and safe, part of coping with the implications of social distancing. 

Helen Westerman

NSPCC Service Head for Local Campaigns