How can you help your child stay safe when live streaming?
There are some practical steps you can take to help keep your child safe if they are using an app or website with a live streaming function.
Stay involved in their internet use – Talk to your child about what they are doing online; what they are enjoying, what they are learning, who are they interacting with and the new things they have discovered. Parental engagement in the positive aspect of being online and not just the risky things will help your child to talk more openly about their internet use, including anything that worries them. Having these discussions often is more effective than having ‘one big chat’.
Use webcam and devices in public spaces. As young people develop, they often seek more privacy and autonomy in both their online and offline world. However, it’s important to consider whether children are developmentally ready to be left unsupervised using devices. Young children do not have reasoning skills to keep themselves safe independently, especially when overpowered by the intelligence and manipulation of offenders. A known risk factor is when children use live streaming platforms in their bedroom or bathrooms unsupervised. Therefore, it’s important that if primary aged children are using apps with any communication function that they are being supervised by an adult and are not in a private space.
Privacy and safety settings - If your child is using an app with a live streaming function go through the privacy and safety settings together, setting them to make sure only the friends they know in ‘real life’ can view their profile. You can read our guides on some of the popular apps.
Be wary of requests to chat in private – Offenders may try and move children from a public area of an app to a private area to have conversations that are likely to be less moderated. Remind your child to be wary of people they meet online who want to chat to them in a private away from other people.
Build resilience - You can help build your child’s resilience and self-esteem through conversations and activities that are not based on validation from online ‘fans’ or views. For primary aged children this can include highlighting when your child has been nice or kind to a sibling or friend.
Safe and trusted adults and advice - Help your child to identify adults that are there to help from ones who they do not know or that may want something in return. As your child gets older they may look to the internet for information and advice. Support them to identify trusted sources on the internet, versus places where they should be more cautious. Reinforce the idea that on the internet, adults should be offering advice and supporting young people to make their own choices, usually via professional and well known organisations.
Make sure your child knows where to go for support and where to report - Children can sometimes feel they are to blame if something goes wrong online. Remind your child that they can always speak to you or an adult they trust if they are worried no matter what may have happened. Talk to them about reporting directly within the app or platform they are using and that they can report to CEOP if they’re concerned about contact from an adult.