Online safety

The internet, mobile technologies and social media all provide children and young people with vast opportunities for learning, communication and support.

However, increasing reliance on online technologies also makes children and young people potentially vulnerable to people seeking to exploit technology for malicious purposes.

Risks associated with the digital technology include:

  • Exposure to obscene, violent or distressing material
  • Bullying, coercion, or intimidation through email, messaging and social media (“cyber-bullying”)
  • Sharing personal images without permission
  • Identity theft and abuse of personal information
  • Exposure to material concerning harm to health such as eating disorders, self-harm or suicidal ideation
  • Sexual exploitation by online predators (including grooming and sexting)

Parent Club's 2022 Child Online Safety campaign

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Parent Club offers up-to-date guidance from the Scottish Government on children’s health and education. Read about their Child Online Safety campaign and find some practical ideas and advice to help keep children safe online.

Indecent images of children

The UK Home Office has updated the supporter pack which accompanies its Steering clear campaign. 

This campaign aims to educate and empower young men aged 18-24 to navigate the internet more responsibly by increasing their understanding of: how to report sexual images of children; the law relating to indecent images of children (IIOC); and the harm caused to victims of indecent images of children. 

The campaign was developed in partnership with the NSPCC, Marie Collins Foundation and the Internet Watch Foundation.

Key resources

Report Resource

National Action Plan on Internet Safety for Children and Young People (Scottish Government, 2017)

Year: 2017 | Topic: Online safety | Author: Scottish Government
This plan builds on actions set out in the Scottish Government's 2010 Action Plan on Child Internet Safety and the 2011/12 Scottish Action Pl…
Guidance Resource

National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2014

Year: 2014 | Topic: Child protection, Online safety | Author: Scottish Government
This guidance is for all services, agencies, professional bodies and organisations, and for individuals working within an adult and child ser…
Report Resource

Barnardo’s (2015) Digital Dangers The impact of technology on the sexual abuse and exploitation of children and young people

Year: 2015 | Topic: Online safety | Author: Barnardo's
This report makes a number of recommendations relating to service provision; training for professionals; and policy change.