With the need for most pupils to be at home, there is an increased amount of time being spent online and with this comes the additional need for close supervision. With parents being asked to do more at home, a quick sit-down with your child might be the best way to achieve this. Take some time to talk through how their time online is going - has there been anything good to report and what have they enjoyed doing? Which websites/ chatrooms have they been using? Who are they talking to and how do they know them?
Has anyone been unkind to them - how and why do they think this has happened? Is it more than a spat/fallout with a class mate? Who can they talk to if they see or hear something upsetting?
A short chat can often provide that reassurance and reinforce safe online access at home.
Also, this can allow you to talk through how long is healthy for your child to be online - there is lots of evidence to state that children need to come off a device long before bedtime to ensure a good sleep is achieved. How else are they balancing their time? - doing some school work, helping in the home, exercise and reading are all good alternatives!
Children and their families can always report concerns via CEOP - this is the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command, or CEOP Command (www.ceop.police.uk).
It is a command of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) and is tasked to work both nationally and internationally to bring online offenders, including those involved in the production, distribution and viewing of abusive materials.
Keep safe - always report concerns to an adult, do not keep online secrets.