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Solent Academies Trust

 Internet Safety Advice 

We are committed to ensuring that students are safe when using the internet at Solent Academies Trust. Nonetheless, much of a child’s internet usage occurs outside of school, and we ask parents/carers to be interested, supportive and vigilant to their children’s usage. This page has been designed to give you information that will support you in this role.

What is my child doing online through social networking?

Children and young people go online to connect with friends, and make new ones, to browse the internet for information, chat with others and play games. They may:

  • Search for information or content on search engines like Google and Bing
  • Share images and watch videos through websites or mobile apps like Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube and Whatsapp
  • Use social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter
  • Write or reply to messages on forums and message boards
  • Play games alone or with others through websites, apps or game consoles
  • Chat with other people through online games, game consoles, webcams, social networks and tools like Whatsapp.
  • When online, children and young people can learn new things, get help with homework, express themselves creatively and connect with friends and family.

There are also risks, but by understanding and talking about the dangers you can help keep your children safe online.

A more detailed guide to the social networks your child uses can be found on the Net Aware website: www.net-aware.org.uk

 The most popular apps with teens right now

Snapchat lets you take a photo or short video – with the option of many fun face-recognition filters – to your friends. The video/photo then deletes itself straight after being viewed.

Pros: It makes video and picture sharing easy and means content doesn’t fill up memory on everyone’s phones.
Cons: If any content is bullying or inappropriate, it can delete itself before the recipient gets the chance to report it. 





Instagram is the most popular app with teens today. You might use it yourself, but if you don’t it’s an app where you can simply post a picture (or several) with a caption, and this then gets viewed by other users who follow your account.

You have the choice to have a private or a public account. If you have a public account, then if your photo caption contains words with a hashtag in front of it (i.e. #picoftheday), then it will get shared with users who follow that hashtag.

Pros: Great for discovering inspiring ideas and content.
Cons: Can promote unrealistic ideas of what’s real or normal.   


TikTok- A musical app where you upload a 15-second video – normally miming the words to a song – and then merge it with music to create a short music video.

Pros: A fun way for kids to be creative with music and videos.
Cons: There’s little in the way of screening for different age-groups, so they might see provocative or inappropriate videos.    


YouTube - You’ll almost certainly know about YouTube, the video sharing site. With teens, make-up tutorial videos, video game demonstrations, singing and music videos all have huge popularity. Some users who have thousands of followers, including children and teens, get paid (sometimes enough to live on) by companies for reviewing their products in their videos.

Pros: A great source of free educational and entertaining videos.
Cons: Like with Instagram, influencers can encourage an unrealistic view of what’s normal.   


Twitter - Another one that you’ll probably be familiar with. The message posting site that has changed the world since it was founded in 2006, and is especially popular with a certain US president. It’s really popular with teens too, and they often use it to share memes, jokes and opinions of whatever’s going on in their day. Like Instagram, if you have a public account you can share your posts more widely by using hashtags, and you can choose to keep your posts private too.

Pros: Gives everyone a chance to share their news and opinions, and find out what others are saying too.
Cons: Kids are exposed to a full range of content (good and bad) and since it’s public, their posts may receive comments from strangers.    




Whatsapp - You’ll probably have this on your phone too. Used by billions across the world, it’s one of the most popular ways to instant message – both one-to-one and in groups. You need someone’s phone number or email address to be able to message them, and messages are “end-to-end encrypted”, which means they’re (basically) unhackable.

Pros: Makes messaging quick and easy, and works on both Apple and Android devices.
Cons: Can be addictive, especially if they’re in any active group chats.  





Multiplayer video games – XBox, Playstation, Minecraft, Fortnite etc.

Popular with lots of teens and adults, video-games that are linked to the internet let you play with people from anywhere else in the world.

Pros: State-of-the-art gaming which is really fun and can be creative and educational. Instant message and audio chat options make them very social.
Cons: It’s possible to play with and chat to people who they don’t know. 


What are the risks that my child could face?

Understanding the potential risks and encouraging safe and responsible use of the internet are crucial steps towards ensuring the safety of your child. Depending on the role that your child takes, whether the recipient, participant or actor, there are a number of potential risks as outlined below.  (Source: Children Online Research & Evidence)

Parents and carers play a key role in supporting children to learn about how to stay safe online, and they are one of the first people children turn to if things go wrong. We know it can be difficult to stay on top of the wide range of sites and devices that young people use, so we hope that the following advice helps.

  • Have ongoing conversations with your children about staying safe online
  • Carry out spot checks on the devices that your children use, looking at images, videos, and social media
  • Use safety tools on social networks and other online services, e.g. Facebook privacy settings
  • Decide if you want to use parental controls on your home internet
  • Understand devices and the parental control tools they offer. A useful guide can be found on the UK Safer Internet Centre’s website.

How can I report safety concerns?

If you are concerned that your child is in immediate danger, call 999. If it is a less immediate concern, you should contact your local police station.

If you’re worried that your child is being groomed online or sexually exploited you should also report your concerns to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre (CEOP). You can report your concern through their website: www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre

If you are concerned that your child is being bullied at school, you should contact the designated safeguarding lead or your child's teacher.

Where else do I go for help?

There are a range of useful websites you can visit by clicking on the logo's below.