Get involved and protect your child online

We are very concerned about the number of children who are viewing and gaming on content way above their age restriction(s). Video games, along with films and TV, have age restrictions to protect children and their development and allow parents to make simple decisions about what is appropriate for their age group and what is not. Video-games offer all kinds of benefits and experiences, but to get the most out of games families should ensure they are engaging with then in safe and sensible ways.

  • Choose ‘healthy’ games to develop creativity and skills

  • Play together as a family

  • Use the parental controls effectively

Some useful links if you are worried about online gaming:

Protecting your child on the Xbox - Parental Controls Guide


A practical guide for parents and carers

Social networking is hugely popular.  Many young people are sophisticated in the way they use social media apps and websites, tailoring their communication for different audiences, and accessing them from a range of devices including smartphones, tablets, and games consoles.

But social media, like all forms of public communication, comes with some risks. Not all of these risks turn into actual problems; and if children never face any risks, they never learn how to deal with them. By helping your child understand what the risks are, you can play a big part in preventing them from turning into problems.

Understand the risks children may need to deal with

• Seeing or sharing of violent, sexual and pornographic content
• Inaccurate or false information and extreme views
• Promotion of harmful behaviour including self-harm & anorexia
• Over-sharing of personal information
• Actively or unintentionally getting involved in bullying

• People who might bully, intimidate or frighten
• People posing behind fake profiles for:
- Mischief-making
- Sexual grooming and stalking
- Blackmail and extortion
- Identity theft and hacking

• Fear of missing out leading to excessive use or exaggeration
• Getting upset by things they have seen and being uncertain about what to do
• Engaging, or being pressured into engaging in more risky behaviour either by accident or by design
• Developing unrealistic, and perhaps depressing ideals of body image and gender
• Becoming subject to peer pressure or interactions that are intense or too difficult to handle
• Creating an online reputation that may create problems for them in the future


Concerned about online grooming or sexual behaviour online? Contact CEOP: If you stumble across criminal sexual or obscene content on the internet you should report it to the Internet Watch. Foundation:

PEGI Ratings for Gaming

Age ratings ensure that entertainment content is clearly labelled for the minimum age group for which it is suitable. Age ratings provide guidance to consumers to help them decide whether or not to buy a particular product. The PEGI system is based on six age categories and eight content descriptors. The age categories indicate whether an interactive software product is appropriate for children from a certain age. The age categories are: 3, 7, 12, 16, 18 and ‘Parental Guidance Recommended’ (which is used for certain apps).

Click here to be redirected to the PEGI website for more info.

Guides to Fortnight, Call of Duty,
FIFA 19 and more…
Please take note of the Age Restrictions on all these games.


It’s good practice for apps and websites to have safety advice and well-designed safety features which can make a real difference to how safe your child will be when using them. Work through safety and privacy features on the apps that your child is using, or might use. Make sure they understand the point of these and how to use them.  Don’t be put off by believing your child knows more than you: the tools are actually quite easy to manage.

• Ask them to show you which social media apps they use and what they like about them. Talk about how they use them and what makes them so engaging.

• Explain how you can use privacy settings to make sure only approved friends can see posts & images.

• Check if any of their apps have ‘location enabled’; sharing their location unintentionally.

• Show them how to report offensive comments or block people who upset them.

• Check ‘tagging’ settings so that when others are posting or sharing photos online, your child’s identity is not revealed. Also, get people‘s consent before sharing photos.

• Encourage your child to come and talk to you if they see anything that upsets them.


In a mobile age, children can’t be completely protected, even by the best privacy controls; another child may use different settings. So it’s important to keep talking to your child about the implications of social media. Getting a sense of what they think is a useful place to start; you may be surprised by how much thought they may have given to the issues. Encourage your child to think carefully about the way they, and others behave online, and how they might deal with difficult situations.

• People may not always be who they say they are online: how can this create problems?

• Why is it unwise to meet anyone in the real world that you’ve only ever met online?

• Even if you think your messages are private, remember that words/images can always be captured/broadcast.

• People present themselves differently online - do they really look like that? Are they always having a great time?

• Be aware that screens, and especially being anonymous, can lead people to say things they wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

• What does being a good friend and a likeable person online look like?

• There can be pressure to be part of a particular group online or to be seen to be following a certain set of ideas. Can you take a step back and make your own decisions?