Close this search box.
Child Helpline International logo

How can children stay safe online?

Website Headers4

From cyberbullying to grooming, there is a myriad of troubling issues that children may encounter in their digital lives. Together with the GSMA and a range of members and partners, we have produced these Internet Safety Guides as an introduction for child helplines and counsellors on nine areas of child online protection. Do you want to know how you can keep children safe in their digital worlds? Then check the documents below!

About these guides:

In an increasingly digital world, many children reach out to helplines for support and guidance with online issues. Our Internet Safety Guidelines were created with child helplines and counsellors in mind – check inside to see what online issues we can help you with.


Cyberbullying can be a confusing issue, especially with the anonymity that the internet can offer perpetrators. Increasingly, it also happens alongside ‘real world’ bullying. How can child helplines assist a child or parent concerned about the vile practice of cyberbullying?

Discrimination and Hate Speech:

Prejudice is often based solely on ignorance and fear of the different. It can be found online in discriminatory materials, websites and comments which have been made by a group or an individual – how can we help alleviate the distress felt by children when they encountering such things online?


Grooming, the process of an adult developing an emotional connection with a child for the purposes of sexual abuse or exploitation, has no set pattern. Nowadays, there is often no intention to meet in person but rather to obtain sexual images online for future blackmail. How can we recognise grooming, and what can child helplines do to stop it?

Illegal Content:

Illegal content – which in most countries includes child sexual abuse images and material – is extremely distressing to view. What can we do for children who have been exposed to illegal content or are concerned about it?

Inappropriate Content:

Inappropriate content may not be illegal, but it encompasses anything that a child should not be exposed to – websites promoting anorexia, for instance. It can cause children to feel confused, shocked and scared. What practical advice can be given, and what red flags should we look out for when discussing inappropriate content found online?


‘Privacy’ usually refers to three things: good privacy practices, issues relating to the abuse of privacy, and concerns relating to digital reputation. How can child helplines guide children through all the matters related to this tricky subject?

Sexual Extortion:

Sexual extortion often begins with a child and a perpetrator engaging in a friendly manner on a social media platform. Once sexual images or videos are obtained, the offender will begin making demands of the child which can be sexual or financial. What can you do to prevent extortion and to help a child who has fallen victim to it?

Sexual Harassment:

Linked to sexual extortion is sexual harassment: a child being offended or intimidated by unwanted sexual comments or conduct of a sexual nature. This may be from an adult or another child and may be somebody they know, or a stranger. In this publication, we examine how this occurs online and what you can do to put an end to it.

Unsolicited Contact:

Not all contact from strangers is necessarily malicious, but it can often leave children feeling threatened, confused or distressed. What guidance can we give children about matters relating to unsolicited (but not sexual) contact?