Tips to protect your child online

From the time our children are babies we teach them right from wrong, how to keep themselves safe and how to recognise danger and when they are at risk. However when it comes to the internet, it isn’t always easy to do this.

Being a parent or carer is one of the hardest jobs any of us will ever do. And from time to time, we all need a little help, whether the problem is big or small. Sometimes, all you need is someone to talk to - and importantly, someone who'll listen.

Help and advice

Parentline is Children 1st's national, confidential helpline for anyone caring for or concerned about a child. It's open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 9pm, Saturday to Sunday, 9am to 12pm.

Our trained call-takers can offer advice and support or signpost you to another organisation if you need information on a specific issue.


  • respectme is Scotland's anti-bullying service and has advice for adults, children and young people.

Five tips to help protect your child online

  1. Talk with your child

    • Have regular conversations about what is going on in their life, their relationships with friends, school and ask about their use of social media.
  2. Set limits

    • Being a parent means we need to set limits to keep our children safe. Talk together so you can agree limits on the use of their devices, for example they are not allowed their phone at the dinner table, or in the bedroom at bedtime.
  3. Set parental controls

    • It’s important to set parental controls so younger children cannot access apps or sites which are not suitable or age appropriate. It’s helpful to talk this through with your child, explaining what you are doing and why.
  4. Teach your child to be safe online

    • For young people privacy and space is important, it’s better to teach them how to be safe online rather than trying to monitor everything they are doing.
  5. Use mindfulness apps with your child

    • As well as being there for your child, to listen and talk through things, these apps help your child to try and cope with anxiety.
More information about protecting children