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How to tell if your child is NOT being safe online

Child On Phone Internet

Published at 3:28pm 4th February 2019. (Updated at 7:12am 5th February 2019)

While social media sites keep children connected, there are risks.

On Safer Internet Day, here is how you can check if your child is NOT being safe online.

Do you know your hashtags from your snap chats? Did you know there are legal minimum ages for social media sites?

What are the signs my child is not being safe online?

Signs your child is sending or receiving inappropriate content on social media: 

  1. Spends long periods of time alone with laptop or phone in a closed room, more than usual
  2. Wants to keep doors locked
  3. Goes online late at night
  4. Is secretive about site they are using and who they are talking to
  5. Is not willing to share passwords or allow others on their device
  6. Suddenly presents themselves in a new way, for example wearing revealing clothing, make up etc, particularly when going online
  7. Heightened out of character behavior, aggressive, angry, upset, secretive…

1 in 3 children have been victims of cyberbullying. Here is what you need to know:

Signs and symptoms of cyberbullying:

  • Appears nervous when receiving a text, instant message, or email
  • Seems uneasy about going to school or pretends to be illmore
  • Unwillingness to share information about online activity2
  • Unexplained anger or depression, especially after going online
  • Abruptly shutting off or walking away from the computer mid-use
  • Withdrawing from friends and family in real life
  • Unexplained stomachaches or headaches
  • Trouble sleeping at night
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts

Signs your child may be a cyberbully:

  • Has a history of bullying, or has been the target of bullying themselves
  • Avoids conversations about computer and cell phone activities
  • Uses multiple online accounts
  • Switches screens or close programs when you, or others, are nearby
  • Shows excessive use of the computer and/or cell phone
  • Becomes overly upset if access to computers or cell phone is restricted or denied

(Sources: Familyshare.comNSPCCStopBullying.com)


If you are worried your child is being bullied or is a bully online:

(Source: NSPCCStopbullying.com)

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