Back to top
logo Allstate cybersafety.

Top tips for parents and guardians to kids safe online

A parent looking at her child laptop screen.

Afraid of your children's safety online but want them to have their privacy?

Check out these actionable tips on how to protect your children online prepared by Allstate's cybersecurity experts.

1 in 3 internet users are children.

The online world plays an increasingly large role in children's day to day lives. Unfortunately, just like in the real world the online world isn't always a nice place.

We want every child to be Cyber Safe. That means being safe online and knowing when to Stop, Think, and Tell.

This guide contains tips on how you can help your child be Cyber Safe and stay safe online.

Friend or pretend

Some people will try to use online chat rooms and social media to groom young children. It could happen online via chat, webcam, images or through a physical meeting.

What can I do?

Explain that talking to strangers isn't always 'bad', but they should always be careful about what they share. Sometimes people aren't who they say they are.

Ask your child if they know how to use the reporting function within chat rooms or social media sites. Show them how to block someone and how to keep information private. Be on the look out for signs that your child may be being targeted.

Signs to look out for:

  • Is there a change in your child's behaviour?
  • Has your child become very secretive?
  • Are they withdrawn but won't say why?
  • Are they unable to switch off from their phone or social media?
  • Is your child going to unusual places to meet friends?
  • Do they have new items such as clothes or a mobile phone which they can't or won't explain?

Beware what you share

Children these days want to share everything with their friends.

Your child may be giving their personal details to people they have never met. It's not always possible to verify people's identities online.

What can I do?

Talk to your child about the importance of not sharing their personal details online.

Check if your child is old enough to use social media websites. Many social media sites require that users are over 13. Check the setting on your child's social media apps. Ensure that they are not publicly searchable and everything is set to "private" or "friends only".

Talk with your child and explain that a photograph posted online is permanent and could end up anywhere.

Grahic of computer safety for 8 to 11 year olds.

Don't be mean on screen

Every child has the potential to be unintentionally mean on screen.

What can I do?

Talk to your child about being kind online and stopping and thinking before they post. Let them know that they can tell you if someone is being mean to them or a friend online.

What can I do?

  • Listen without judging
  • Don't remove access to technology
  • Your child may be discouraged from confiding in you if there is a threat of their access being removed
  • Encourage not retaliation
  • Bullies are often looking for a reaction
  • Save evidence of the bullying
  • Take screenshots or save the messages
  • Talk to their school
  • Schools have anti-bullying policies in place that can help
  • Talk to the police
  • This is critical if you think your child is in immediate danger

Top 5 things you can do

  1. Talk to your child about staying safe online
  2. Explore their online world together
  3. Agree rules on what's OK and what's not OK
  4. Manage your family's internet settings and controls
  5. Stay up to date with the digital world so you know how to keep your child safe online. If you don't know where to start, check out

Want to find out more?

If you are worried about your child please contact your local police force or NSPCCC helpline on 0808 800 5000.

Resources can be found at:

ECC Monitor: OK