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Keeping children and young people safe online at Christmas (Dec 2014)

Please check out this excellent advice from Leeds Safeguarding Children's Board (LSCB) 

Many young people will be receiving the latest gadgets such as tablets, smart phones and games consoles this Christmas.

The Internet and all it can offer, is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, however parents and carers need to be aware that it is possible for people who are unknown to children and young people to communicate with them via the Internet.

Some parents, carers or relatives might not realise that even games consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation are connected to the Internet and can be used for communicating as well as playing games.

While using these gadgets is second nature for many children and young people, they can seem quite daunting for parents or carers who may not be as technologically savvy.

The guides below provide simple step-by-step instructions on how to set the privacy settings on the most popular applications and games consoles used by children and young people.

If you have bought a new gadget, for example a mobile phone, games console or tablet (such as iPad) for a child or young person this Christmas, you can follow these instructions and enable these settings before you give your gift and therefore help protect your child or young person online.

There are separate instructions for each of the most popular applications and consoles. Click on the instructions relevant for your device. We have downloaded them to our website for ease of access. For more information and links please do visit the link below.

Follow these tips for keeping your children safe online:


  • Talk to your children about what they are looking at and who they are talking to online.
  • Remind them of the importance of not talking to or accepting friend requests from people they don’t know in real life.
  • Encourage them to keep all personal information such as passwords, phone numbers, friend, school address details private.
  • Remind them that people might not be who they say they are online. It is very easy for people to set up accounts, with fake names, identities and photos, to make us all believe that they are someone they are not.
  • Warn them that the things they write and the photos they post online might be accessed by people other than their friends, if they don’t keep their accounts private.
  • Set parental controls and privacy settings so that you can see and control what your child or young person is doing online via their device. 
  • Highlight the risks of meeting people in person that your child only knows online. Meeting people in real life, that children and young people only know from being online, can pose many risks and children and young people should be encouraged to be open and honest with you or a trusted adult, if someone is asking to meet up with them in real life. (This can be very dangerous and children and young people should be encouraged to tell their parents or an adult they trust, if someone is asking to meet them.)