Online Safety Resources for Parents
ParentZone is a social enterprise which offers resources and support for parents, teachers and young people. They seek to “empower young people, parents and professionals to build the skillsets needed to analyse and deal with challenges they face.” Some of the resources developed for parents include ParentInfo, which was developed with the Child Online Exploitation Protection (CEOP) Command, provides support and guidance for parents. They divide this guidance into subsets, including ‘Games, apps & tech’ and ‘Education in the Future’, allowing for more focused insight and help.
Another of their resources is the ParentLounge, which contains resources “to help families boost children's digital resilience and keep them safe online.” This includes access to two online courses (Parenting in the Digital Age and Resilient Families) online courses.
Childnet work directly with young people and parents to learn about people’s experiences online and share knowledge around digital safety. They have developed a number of resources for parents out of their work, including a Parent & Carer Toolkit, inclusive of materials like a Resource Sheet and a Family Agreement. They also have a blog and provide advice on parental controls.
The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, or NSPCC, has dedicated part of their website to online safety, providing guides and advice for parents on how to address internet-related topics with their children. These topics include ‘Online games,’, ‘Livestreaming’ and ‘Online porn’. Their site is also updated with the latest online safety news, includes a helpline and they have also teamed up with O2 to help parents with parental controls and other technical issues with protecting children online.
The Family Online Safety Institute, or FOSI, provides written guidance, videos and a toolkit on Good Digital Parenting. Their mission statement is divided into three parts: Policy, Practice and Parenting. They describe themselves as bringing a “unique, international perspective to the potential risks, harms as well as the rewards of our online lives. FOSI’s 20+ members, from Amazon to Verizon represent the leading Internet and communications companies in the world.” The insights garnered through this expansive cross-industry line of work are no doubt invaluable to parents trying to practice their parental responsibilities digitally.
Internet Matters was launched in 2014, with the specific goal of becoming a parents’ go-to when looking for advice on child online safety. They, too, work with major industry partners, such as Virgin, BBC and Google, to develop their support and resources. These include a guide to the apps that children commonly use, a digital resilience toolkit to be shared with children and expert tips for supporting children as they use social media.
Notably, they offer age-specific advice for parents of children in age bands of 0-5, 6-10, 11-13 and 14+. This guidance advises on the transitions between different levels of use and kinds of engagement with the internet, moving from tips of protecting your children online to teaching them about how to stay safe up to maintaining open lines of communication with regard to internet use.