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Child exploitationDigital skills

App safety

A teenage boy wearing headphones completes online work in the school library. Overlaid is text that reads: "Staying Safe Online Poster Hub".

Through our delivery of The Social Switch Project in partnership Redthread and funded by Google.org, we have been training frontline professionals working with young people, to deal with challenges of online behaviour. For Safer Internet Day 2020, we have collated some of these tips for keeping young people safe online to create printable posters for anyone working with young people as well as parents and carers.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t do nothing: some parents or guardians find out too late that young people have been accessing inappropriate platforms or content.

Some devices have built-in controls which can be activiated, or you can sync your child’s phone to your phone so that you can see which apps have been downloaded:

  • Google Family Link is a free android app for under 13s, which can be controlled by the parent’s iPhone or Android phone
  • iPhone iOS 12+ offers controls at the operating system level
  • net-aware.org.uk lets you check out any app before it is downloaded and allows you to see independent reviews of the risks of any app.

Other options include:

Qustodio (Free or £): Free version or premium plans available from £36 per annum but no monthly payment option available. Daily reports about phone and laptop use, consoles not covered. Location tracker included. Blocker for certain apps. Requires setting up on each device separately. Good reviews on comparison sites.

Net Nanny (££): Includes internet filter, scheduled access, activity alerts and reports but does not cover apps. Requires setting up on each device separately.

OurPact (££): Tracks calls, texts, social media use. High degree of parental control, including scheduling access to certain apps at certain times of day. Requires setting up on each device separately. Doesn’t cover consoles or laptops.

Kaspersky Safe Kids (Free or £): Web monitoring, time limits, app management. Laptops also covered but not consoles. Good value option.

Norton Family Premier (££): Web filters, location tracking, time scheduling and monitoring for unlimited Android and Windows devices.