How children behave online

Screen time

Are you concerned that your child spends too long on their games console or never puts their phone down? You’re not alone. Many parents worry about getting the balance right when it comes to screen time and other activities.


Whether it’s writing something hurtful on Facebook, sharing a mean video or ‘liking’ someone else’s nasty comments, it could be considered bullying—even if your child doesn’t realise it.


Children and teenagers might spend money on apps, games, premium numbers, downloads and online shopping without considering how the costs could mount up, especially if it seems like they are spending virtual currency or they think something is free.

Digital footprint

Everyone has a digital footprint of websites, comments and photos that friends, family, teachers, employers and even complete strangers might be able to see. Unfortunately, young people don’t always tread carefully when posting stuff online or consider how their digital footprint could affect their reputation now and in the future.

Downloading and copyright

Many young people go online for music, films, games and other entertainment but they could be breaking the law and in danger of security breaches if they don’t download or stream content from legitimate websites.


Exchanging naked photos and videos is more common among adults than children, but some young people do it as a way of flirting or for a laugh. It’s just part of growing up, they might say, but it could put them at risk of things like bullying and being contacted by strangers.

Challenges and dares

While some viral online challenges are harmless fun, others could result in injuries and embarrassment. Some young people enjoy taking part in dares in return for social media ‘likes,’ but they might not understand the risks, or they might feel under pressure from their peers.

Privacy and security

Your child might not consider why they shouldn’t give out personal information to people they don’t know or understand how to avoid viruses, malware and identity theft. They might even get involved in cybercrime themselves.


Smartphones and other devices are valuable – not only in terms of cost but also because of the personal information stored on them. With thousands of mobile phones stolen from teenagers each year, it’s important that your child knows how to keep their devices safe.