Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Lucy Brown
Features Writer
1:04 PM 5th February 2024

Fostering A Safer Internet

Ahead of Safer Internet Day, how can we better protect families online?
How to keep  young people safe online

Image: spusu
How to keep young people safe online Image: spusu
Ofcom’s Children and Parents: Media Use and Attitudes 2023 report revealed that 97 per cent of children aged between three and 17 have accessed the internet. It’s no surprise considering a child’s digital footprint begins before they’re even born. With Safer Internet Day around the corner on February 6, SIM-only mobile provider spusu, offers tips for keeping young people safe online.

Safer Internet Day aims to raise awareness of a safer and better internet, especially for children and young people. It also highlights emerging and current online issues, such as cyberbullying and digital identity, and promotes responsible use of digital technology among a younger generation.

This year’s Safer Internet Day will focus on change online, including young people’s perspective on new and emerging technology, using the internet to make change for the better, the changes young people want to see online, and the things that can influence and change the way young people think, feel and act online and offline.

Online Safety Act
Four years after the draft was first introduced, the Online Safety Bill received Royal Assent in October 2023, making it the Online Safety Act, and officially making it law. The act is thought to make the UK “the safest place in the world to be online”.

Regulated by Ofcom, the act aims to create a safer online environment for everyone, by holding social media platforms accountable for the content they host, compelling them to remove harmful and illegal material. This is particularly important considering 45 per cent of children aged between eight and 17 have witnessed harmful content online, according to a report from the Children’s Commissioner.

Parental guidance
While the Online Safety Act enforces change, what measures can parents take at home to ensure the online safety of their children?

Parents shouldn't be afraid to speak with their children about their internet usage. It’s important to encourage an open discussion about the topic. See the internet as something you can explore together, so that children can feel more confident about discussing their time online.

Using safety filters like Google's SafeSearch can help restrict inappropriate content from search results. Parents can also set up child-friendly search engines like Swiggle as the default home page on their child’s device. Popular apps, such as TikTok and YouTube, also have child-friendly versions that restrict access to adult content. TikTok actually offers an extensive Guardian’s Guide that offers lots of advice for parents looking to supervise their child’s time on the app.

Today, the internet is simply part of everyday life. With the number of children who access the internet increasing, and the age of the child decreasing, parents must foster an environment that encourages positive talk around safe internet usage, and use resources available to them.

spusu offers a range of competitive SIM-only plans on the market, making them ideal options for first time phones for young people. Visit to learn more.