An online resource to provide parents of children between eight and 12 years with reassuring and practical advice and information about the risks of sharing photos and other information online.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Communities and Families | Primary prevention | Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Online/app | English
- Communities and Families | Tertiary prevention | Young Adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Online/app | English
Parents of children aged 8-12 years, in the UK.
National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).
Mode and context of delivery
Delivered online through a short humorous cartoon called “I saw Alex’s Willy” and supporting information and guidance for parents on how to keep children safe online. The cartoon shows what can go wrong when children share inappropriate images of themselves online and can be used with children aged 8-12 years. There is guidance through “A Parent’s Guide to being Share Aware” as well as a Guide to Social Networks and some Talking Tips on how to talk with children about online safety. There are also links to Net Aware, a related website on different social networking sites used by children.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
It is delivered online to parents; therefore 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 cartoon video lasts for one minute. The different guides can each be read in 10 - 15 minutes. They are designed to be easy to read and to refer to as needed.
Description of intervention
The key objective of this online resource is to provide parents of children aged 8-12years with reassuring and practical information and advice on how to keep safe online. It was developed following research into how younger children use and experience social networking sites and the risks they face (see references).
There are a number of interrelated elements to this resource:
- 'I Saw Alex’s Willy' - an amusing cartoon video with a clear message about what can go wrong if children share inappropriate images online. A photo of Alex’s willy is taken as a joke between friends and goes viral. Length 1 minute.
- 'A Parent’s Guide to being Share Aware' - a guide on how to keep children safe online, with three key points each with talking points and things to do: talk to your child; get the family involved; and safety starts with you. Advice is also provided on what to do if things go wrong.
- A guide to social networks, which includes advice about risks and dangers and tips on parental controls.
- Links to the Net Aware website (www.net-aware.org.uk) which provides detailed information about different social network sites, the latest games and apps used by children.
- An overview of online safety, which is also relevant to anyone working with children and families.
The tone of the resource is non-alarmist and reassuring. The advice is practical and detailed, for example on privacy settings and on how to talk about these and about risks of sharing online with children. If things go wrong there is a link to the NSPCC helpline where professional help can be provided free of charge.
This is a new resource. It is based on research with children and parents and has been field-tested with positive feedback from users.
Share Aware and further online safety information can be accessed on 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.
On-line abuse – learning from case reviews. (2014) NSPCC.
INFORMATION CORRECT AT DECEMBER 2020