The internet has opened opportunities for young people to communicate with people they know and those they have not met in real life. While socialising online can be a great way for children to build friendships, the anonymity of the internet can also put them at risk of cyberbullying and predators.
If your child spends time online, there is a chance they might meet someone who could make them feel uncomfortable. Unwanted contact is any type of online communication that your child finds unpleasant or confronting. It can come from online ‘friends’ who they have not met face-to-face, or someone they actually know.
To help minimise your child’s vulnerability to unwanted contact online, encourage your child to:
- raise any concerns with you or another trusted adult
- use only a first name or nickname to identify themselves
- never disclose their phone number or address
- never send photographs of themselves that clearly show their identity
- never agree to meet someone they have met online without your permission and at the very least with adult supervision.