What children see online

Illegal content

As a general rule, anything that is illegal in real life is illegal online. Illegal content on the internet includes images of child sexual abuse, racist material and criminally obscene adult content.

Violent content

According to a study by EU Kids Online, seeing violent content in things like online videos and computer games is a major concern for young people, especially if it involves violence or aggression towards children or animals.

Misleading and harmful content

While there is lots of legitimate advice on the internet, some websites encourage harmful behaviours. Vulnerable young people with eating disorders and self-harm tendencies might seek information and support online. Children’s natural curiosity might also lead them to visit forums that promote extreme political or religious views.

Music, games, films and TV

If your child downloads or streams content online, are you sure they’re doing it right? Some services like Spotify and Netflix are legal - others aren’t. Some services are free, while others cost money.


Taking an interest in sex is a natural part of growing up. But it’s important that young people can’t easily access pornographic content that could give them a distorted view of sex and relationships.


Pop-up ads on YouTube, in-game advertising, product endorsements by bloggers - we’re bombarded with marketing campaigns when we’re online. This can be confusing and harmful for children and teenagers who might not understand the difference between editorial and advertising.


As a general rule, under 18s aren’t allowed to gamble, but young people still come across adverts for gambling websites and might be offered free versions of gambling games.

Spams and scams

Criminals might tempt younger internet users with fake websites that download malware on their system or trick them into sharing personal information.