Edited or filtered images and videos
Learn about the impact that seeing altered images and videos can have on young people and find out how to support them.
Fake news, hoaxes and misinformation
Learn about the risks of fake news and find out how to spot hoaxes and misinformation.
Promotion of self-harm, suicide and eating disorders
How to identify content that promotes self-harm and support children who have seen it.
"It would be very nice if, online, they wouldn’t say ‘Be careful who you’re talking to, they might not be who you think they are’, and instead they’re saying ‘If anything at all makes you even slightly uncomfortable, then you can talk to someone."
Resources for supporting children
Seeing news or information about coronavirus online or on social media may be upsetting for children and young people. They may feel anxious or worried about what’s happening and be overwhelmed by the amount of news and content people are sharing about coronavirus. They may also be seeing fake news, including alarmist or distressing content.
It’s really important to talk to your child about how they feel about what’s happening at the moment and to let them know they can come to you or a trusted adult if they’re upset by something they’ve seen online. We’ve got advice for parents and carers on talking to children worried about coronavirus that can help you support a child experiencing anxiety or depression.
Children and young people can also find advice on Childline if they’re worried about coronavirus, what’s happening in the world, or how to spot fake news online. Childline also has tips to support young people struggling with anxiety or panic attacks.
Sometimes, innocent searches can lead to not so innocent results. And sometimes, children may look for things because they're curious.
It’s important to know how to reassure young people and help them know what to do and where to go for support if they see inappropriate content online.
If your child has seen inappropriate content online, you can:
- talk with them about what they've seen – let them know what is, and isn’t, appropriate for their age.
- they may have questions about what they’ve seen – you can get support for yourself by contacting our helpline to support you with tackling difficult conversations.
- find out how they came across the content so that you can minimise the risk in future e.g. by blocking certain sites and setting up parental controls, or educating your child about following links.
- reassure them they can come to you, another trusted adult or Childline if they're worried about something.
- get advice on setting up parental controls and make sure you review them regularly to ensure they are right for your family.
- avoid ‘sharenting’ or sharing explicit or inappropriate content you’ve seen online to raise awareness. Sharing content of physical or sexual abuse is illegal and can be upsetting to the child and others who come across it.
- report any inappropriate, illegal, explicit, identifying or distressing content to CEOP through their website. We also have more information about reporting content on our online reporting page.
Children may experience lots of different emotions when they see inappropriate, upsetting or distressing content online. It’s important to talk to your child about what they’re doing online and let them know to come to you if they see anything that upsets them.
Children who see inappropriate content might feel:
- confusion or uncertainty
- shame or guilt
- shock or disgust
- excitement or happiness.
Help us make a difference
Whether it's volunteering for us, challenging yourself with an event or campaigning, there are lots of ways you can help us keep more children safe.
More online safety advice
Livestreaming and online video apps
Learn about livestreaming and video apps and get advice to help keep your child safe.