Online Safety: Instagram and Grooming

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Instagram iconA recent study by the NSPCC has confirmed that Instagram is the social media platform most commonly used for grooming children. We take online safety very seriously, and part of that responsibility is ensuring parents are as informed as children to the risks of online life.

If you're not sure you understand Instagram, here is an excellent primer on it from an online safety perspective.

Instagram is very popular with adolescents, and it is unrealistic to expect any child not to have an account on it when it is an important aspect of their social worlds, but there are steps that can be taken to mitigate risk. The most effective step is to set their account to private so that only confirmed followers can see photos, and then exercise caution in who is approved to follow the account. We also recommend checking that comment filtering is enabled.

If your child tells you they have been the victim of online sexual abuse, you should make a report to CEOP. Such incidents are extremely upsetting and disorienting for everyone involved, but most especially the child; it is important that you don't blame them for anything that happens, but support them fully.

Social media can be used safely, and can be a healthy part of a normal social life, but it is important to always approach it with caution and moderation. Balancing your child's safety and their growing need for privacy is always a difficult task: the best way to handle this is always honest and open communication from both sides.