Technology and its impact

Technology can be used for good, such as for school work, keeping in touch with friends and finding out about the world. But misuse of technology and the online world by children and young people has become a serious problem.

Technology can be used as a way to bully other children – such as by sending compromising images of a young person to someone else, or exposing personal information about a young person – and can be used by young people in a harmful sexual way.

If you’re worried about a child’s sexual behaviour, either in the real world or online, then call our free and confidential helpline on 0808 1000 900 for advice, support and information from an experienced advisor.

If you’re not ready to speak to someone yet, you can use our secure messaging service or look at the links below.

We can help you if:

Pornography and young people

We need to be concerned if young people have access to adult pornography and view it regularly. Although we do not know what effect looking at such material may have on their sexual and emotional development, it may adversely impact on their understanding of intimacy and personal relationships.

Some young people become involved in downloading sexually abusive images of children on the internet and may become sexually aroused by what they are viewing. Often, they have little understanding of the impact of the abuse on the child in the image and some do not understand that it is against the law to view such material on the internet.

It is important to understand the detrimental impact on young people’s personal development caused by viewing such abusive images and to take action to help them stop.

Help for young people who’ve got into trouble online

If you are worried about a child or young person who has been accessing inappropriate sexual material online, then take a look at our What’s the problem? Parents Pack, a guide for parents and carers.

This guide is for parents of children and young people who have got into trouble online either through ‘sexting’, accessing adult pornography, or viewing sexual images of children. It is designed to answer some of the immediate questions you may have after learning that something is happening, or has happened, in your child’s online life.

Online help

You can also visit Parents Protect and take a look in the internet safety section for more information about staying safe online, sextinggroomingsocial networking and cyberbullying.

Face-to-face help

We offer face-to-face help through our Inform Young People Programme. This is an educative programme for young people in trouble with the police, their school or college for inappropriate use of technology and the internet. You can download our leaflet for parents/carers who have concerns about a young person’s sexual behaviour which gives additional information on services we can offer families experiencing problems.

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