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Keeping your child safe online

Thank you so much for supporting Save the Children help children around the world and in the UK by ordering a Lockdown Birthday pack.

Save the Children believes that every child is different and that every one of them has something special to bring to the world. For over a century, we have been fighting for their rights and striving to make sure their voices are heard.

Though Save the Children would love to see photos of young people enjoying their lockdown birthday packs, their safety is always our number one priority.

Decisions to share photos on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat should be made understanding the risks. So we’ve pulled together this guide to make sure you’re informed and to safeguard children and their families.

Reduce the risk of identifying children:

1. The safest way of sharing photos of young people is always to take photos which don’t show their faces such as using a photo from the backs of their heads.

2. It’s also really important to avoid including all three of following pieces of information in a single online post as they make it easier to identify your child:

  • your child’s or a member of your family’s full names
  • a specific location such as where you live – so avoid including a ‘tag’ on a photo or mentioning a road or town name or even showing a school uniform
  • and an identifying image

Experts say these create a ‘triangle of risk’ and by not including all three in a single post you greatly reduce the chance of a child being put at risk.

3. Be aware that if you choose to share photos using hashtags such as #lockdownbirthdaybash that posts will be picked up and possibly shared through social media platforms.  These platforms have huge global followings and it’s possible many millions of people may see any images shared. Even if parents decide to delete images later it may not be possible for them to be completely removed from the internet.

4. Finally, do make children aware that people may not be who they say they are on social media. If you’d like to share photos of your child for just your family and friends to enjoy then use the privacy settings available on all social media platforms. NetAware offers more guidance for using privacy and parental controls for different apps and platforms as do thinkuknow and NSPCC on safeguarding.

More information and questions:

To find out more about keeping your child safe online, call Save the Children directly on 0203 763 0808 or email focalpoint@savethechildren.org.uk