Digital safety & exploitation

Digital safety and exploitation

Know the risks

The internet has become an integral part of our world. Social media has been a major factor in the increase with websites such as Facebook and Twitter becoming part of everyday life.

Whether on a computer at school or at home, a games console or a mobile phone, children are accessing the internet whenever they can and wherever they are. Talk to your children about what they do on the internet and get them to show you some of their favourite sites. This ease of use and availability means there is an increased risk of online vulnerability.

If you and your child understand the risks you can get the most from the internet and stay safe. Chatrooms can be used by paedophiles to meet children and often the child thinks they are the same age. They can also ‘groom’ children to become victims, either psychologically on the internet itself, or by arranging to actually meet with them, gain their trust and abuse them. Make sure your child does not give away any personal details. Paedophiles can also make chatroom friendships with parents to gain their trust and meet children.

Local police in Sutton have a team trained to counter these forms of exploitation. They have strong links with schools to offer support to children and parents. Contact Sutton police on non-emergency number 101 if you have any concerns.


You may find these links useful:

Parents’ Guide to Internet Safety

NSPCC Simple conversations to keep your child safe from abuse - Download PDF

Internet hazards

  • It’s easy and fast - making a decision at the click of a button can cause long-term problems.

  • I am in the privacy of my own home - because they may be at home, and cannot be seen, children may be more reckless and bold in their actions. The emotional and physical distance of being online gives a false feeling of security.

  • Mob mentality - social networking groups may have ‘pages’ specifically designed to target and bully individuals. It's easy to be anonymous and feel less responsible for their actions.


The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children. They are part of UK policing and are very much about tracking and bringing offenders to account either directly or in partnership with local and international forces. If you are in immediate danger contact the police.

It’s important to:

  • Empower children and young people to keep themselves safe when online.

  • Encourage them to be responsible users of the technology.

  • Engage children and young people to recognise the risks and benefits of online communication.


Your child is using the internet in secret.


Could they be visiting unsuitable sites, or chatting with someone who may harm them?


Learn about the internet yourself. Keep the computer in a family room.