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Mobile and internet advice for parents, carers and teachers

Mobile phones and the internet have made a huge difference to our lives. But, like everything, they can be used for good or bad purposes.

Mobiles - who has your child's number?

Numbers can be passed on very easily and it's impossible to control where they might end up.
The same goes for pictures taken with a camera phone.
Remember, once an image is sent there is no control where it goes.


This is the term used when an adult gradually gains a child's trust by getting to know them and pretending they are safe and friendly, when in fact they plan to abuse the child. Grooming is now a specific criminal offence.

They can be an adult who:

  • pretends to be a youngster and makes contact with your child via a mobile phone or internet chat room
  • wants to know lots of details about your child
  • tries to arrange to meet your child
  • may claim that they love your child
  • intends to have sex with your child

Top tips for parents

  1. Children and young people should never meet up with a stranger. Help your child understand the risks and how to they can be kept to a minimum, for example by making sure that any meetings are in public places and that the young person is always accompanied by a friend or trusted adult.

  2. Ask your internet provider about installing parental controls.

  3. Share computer time with your children - you'll learn from each other.

  4. Keep the computer in a room that everyone uses.

  5. Take an interest in your child's hobbies and friends and take these into account when setting guidelines.

  6. Get to know who your child is chatting to.

  7. Be aware of your child using a web cam and what they are using it for.

  8. Make sure all family members know not to give out personal or financial information. 

  9. Help you child understand that not everyone is who they claim to be online. 

  10. Let them know its ok to tell you if they comes across something that worries them.

Did you know:

  • the number of adults attempting to groom children across Scotland is increasing
  • children being targeted can any age, some as young as three
  • people who sexually abuse children are rarely strangers. Most sexual abuse of children is carried out by family members or trusted adult friends. Sometimes they will have taken the time to gain your trust first.

For online advice about internet safety visit the child exploitation and online protection centre.

If you are concerned about cyberbullying you can download our pack of leaflets for parents, children and young people.