The internet, for all its glory and opportunities, does unfortunately feature threats and challenges. These might manifest as online abuse, bullying, threats, impersonation, grooming, harassment or exposure to offensive and/or violent content. All of these are harms we have a duty to protect young people from – and we shouldn’t underestimate its seriousness. If young people are exposed to – or perpetrate – these behaviours, they can be life-altering.
Being aware of and practicing online safety is the only way to mitigate these risks. They will always be present, but teaching young people how to manage harmful situations and content will ensure they are best-placed to benefit from their time online, free from harm. Understanding the consequences of our actions as well as the tools that are available for reporting and helping are the first stepping stones in being an educated and respectful digital citizen.