A website providing information to children and their parents about social networking sites, games and apps used by children.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Children and Young People (Victims) | Primary prevention | Children (5-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Online/app | English
- Communities and Families | Primary prevention | Children (5-11 years), Young People (12-17 years), Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Online/app | English
- Situations/Places | Internet/online | English
Parents who have children aged 8 to 14 years, in the UK. The resource is also appropriate for the children to use.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in partnership with Mumsnet.
Mode and context of delivery
A website providing information about social networking sites, games and apps used by children. The information enables parents and children to make informed choices about which of these are most appropriate for use by young people. Sites have been rated by children and by an Advisory Group of parents in terms of their content, including any sexual content. This forms part of the NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
Delivered online to parents, therefore so no professional expertise is required. Parents are able to contact an NSPCC helpline if they require additional advice or help.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The website can be browsed for as short or long a time according to interest. The website currently contains reviews of the most popular and used social networks but is intended to grow as additional reviews of other sites, games and apps are added.
Description of intervention
The key objectives of this website are:
- To provide parents of children aged 8-14 years with information to help keep them safe online
- To encourage parents to look for themselves and form their own views about the appropriateness of popular sites
- To give parents confidence to facilitate balanced and informed conversations about what children are doing online
It was developed by the NSPCC and Mumsnet at the suggestion of parents who use Mumsnet. It also follows research into how children use social and experience social networking sites and the risks they face (see references).
The most popular social networking sites, games and apps used by children aged 8-14 years, have been identified through a variety of sources including consultation with young people. The issues that most concern parents and children were then identified and each of these has then been rated independently by young people and by parents. The key areas identified that parents need to know about are:
- Signing up
- Privacy settings
- Safety information
Children and parents have also rated the minimum age at which they consider the site should be used unsupervised by children. Sites have also been rated in relation to their content in the following areas:
- Violence and hatred
- Suicide and self-harm
The website has clear graphics and includes quotes from children and young people on the different sites. Feedback is encouraged. Links are provided to Share Aware, where there is guidance and further information for parents on keeping children safe online (see www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/).
This is a new resource. It is based on research with children and parents and has been field-tested with positive feedback from users.
- NSPCC Net Aware can be accessed at: www.net-aware.org.uk
- Share Aware can be accessed at: www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
- Online safety can be accessed at: www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/keeping-children-safe/online-safety/
- Lilley, C., Ball. R., Vernon, H. (2014) Experiences of 11-16 year olds on social networking site a survey of young people’s on-line experiences and coping strategies.
- Lilley, C. & Ball, R. (2013) Younger children and social networking sites – a blind spot? On-line experiences of 11-12 year olds and how to protect them.
- Online abuse – learning from case reviews. (2014). NSPCC.
INFORMATION CORRECT AT JULY 2021