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Online and mobile safety

Online safety

Online safetyComputers and mobile phones help us all to share things, talk to our friends and meet new people. But they can also make it easier for bullies and other people who might want to hurt you to get close to you.

So it's important to know how to be safe on your computer, on your phone and on websites.


Staying safe online

The internet is a great way to connect with your friends and learn new things. It's also important to stay safe and make sure you don't share things that could put you in danger. If you're worried about how much of your life is online you can take steps to be safer. Whatever your worry, ChildLine can help.

Read more about Staying safe online

Online grooming

Online grooming is when someone uses the internet to trick, force or pressure a young person into doing something sexual – like sending a naked video or image of themselves. Online grooming and sexual abuse is wrong. If it has happened to you, it is not your fault. Read more about Online grooming


Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video on their mobile phone, usually in a text message. Find out how you can stay in control and what to do if a photo has fallen into the wrong hands.

Read more about Sexting

Cover your tracks

Find out how to keep your visits to the ChildLine website private by deleting your internet history. If you want to be completely sure of not being tracked online maybe you could use a computer that's not in your home, for example at a library or a friend's house.

Read more about Cover your tracks

Mobile phone safety

Mobile phones are a great way to keep in touch with your friends. If someone you don't know gets in touch with you on your mobile, or if you are being bullied through your phone, you should tell someone who can help you. Read more about Mobile phone safety

Online Gaming

Many young people play games online. Some games are small and simple, like the ones on the ChildLine website. Others are large multiplayer games where you can play against hundreds of other people who you might not know. It's important to stay safe online if you do this.

Read more about Online Gaming

ChildLine on Facebook

ChildLine has an official Facebook page. It's a great place to see inspiring images and messages that you can comment on and share with your friends. Read more about ChildLine on Facebook

Taking care of your digital footprints

Every time you go online you leave a trail. If people search for your name they could find things out about you, including which websites you like to spend time on. This is sometimes called your ‘digital footprint’. Read more about Taking care of your digital footprints

Online porn

This page is for young people aged 12 and over. Some of the language and types of things explained are not appropriate for younger children.

Online pornography or porn usually involves films and photos showing naked people or sexual things. It is often created for sexual excitement but there are also harmful types of porn.

Read more about Online porn

F.A.P.Z - Fight Against Porn Zombies

This page is for young people aged 12 and over. Some of the language and types of things explained are not appropriate for younger children. Read more about F.A.P.Z - Fight Against Porn Zombies


Ask Sam

Is it weird to want to smoke?

Is it weird to want to smoke?

Hi Sam,...
So recently, an awful lot of important things and people have come crashing down and I can feel that I'm a bit of a stress head at the moment! My grandma was talking to me the other day...

Read more
Write a letter to Ask Sam


We want to make sure everyone can access the information provided on this site

We've put together a few tips and help for you. Please send us a message if you can't find what you're looking for. Or you have a suggestion of something we could include.

Using the keyboard instead of the mouse.
As well as using the tab key to navigate through the screen, the ChildLine website has special access keys:

Alt+S = skip navigation
Alt+1 = home
Alt+0 = accessibility information.

Is the text size too large or too small?
You can change your text settings through your browser options:

In Internet Explorer, go to View > Text size and select your desired text size setting (eg, larger, smaller).

In Firefox, go to View > Text size and increase/decrease using Ctrl and + or -

If you have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can hold down Ctrl and scroll back or forth to increase or decrease the font size in both IE and Firefox.

Changing your computer screen settings
To change the size of the image shown on your screen on a PC running Windows 95 and upwards, go to Start > Settings > Control Panel > Display > Settings and change the desktop area by using the sliding bar.

On an Apple Mac, you can use the Monitor & Sound Control Panel to change the resolution.

Having difficulty with your keyboard or mouse?
You can fine-tune your mouse and keyboard settings under Start > Settings > Control Panel > Accessibility in Windows 95/98/NT/2000 and XP.

Skipping navigation for talking browsers and screen readers
For speech browsers, you can press Alt and S followed by Enter to skip navigation on our pages.

The site is W3C level A compliant.


Online safety

On this page you will find links to information about issues related to online safety.  If you would like to read more about an issue, click on the title to go through to the information page.  If you can't find the issue you want to find out about, you can try the site search or go back to the Explore page to look at other issues.