For confidential information and advice contact the Stop it Now! helpline on

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If you want to ask a question or talk through any issues or concerns, call the Stop it Now! confidential, freephone helpline on 0808 1000 900.

The helpline is available from 9am-9pm Monday to Thursday and 9am-5pm Fridays. Alternatively you can contact us for help and advice via email at this address:, with a response in 48 hours.

Emails received at this address are anonymised to preserve confidentiality, but please do not include details such as telephone numbers as this would be classified as identifying information. Please see our confidentiality policy below.

Also note that emails may not be replied to immediately due to high demand for the service. We aim to respond to all emails within 3-5 working days. If you are looking for immediate help, please contact the Helpline by phone.

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Did You Know?

• 47% of 7-10 year old boys use the internet to play games
• 34% of 11-16 year old boys play online games via a console*

*Byron. T. (2008) Safer children in a digital world. The report of the Byron review.


What is it?

Games which require the Internet in order to play them, via a laptop, tablet, games console (e.g. PlayStation, Wii, Xbox) or a mobile phone.

Gaming has developed in leaps and bounds over the last few years. Now, many games consoles can access the internet, enabling users to keep up-to-date with the latest games, downloads and tips and tricks. Games can also be played online through a PC, laptop or mobile phone.

What are the risks?

Online gaming carries many of the risks that other online activity carries. The games often involve many other players, meaning your child could be interacting with strangers in an environment they feel completely comfortable and at ease in. 

Many games sites will also allow the user to create a profile, using personal information, and without the proper safety precautions this could be open for all to see (much like a social networking profile).

Online games often involve a chat function; this may be text chat or voice chat. The same risks that apply to general chat rooms therefore apply in gaming situations– particularly with regard to personal information and inappropriate conversations / language.

Top Tips:

  • When you buy a game console make sure you ask the vender about its online capabilities. Know what the equipment is capable of.
  • Think about the location of the game console. Keep it in a common area if possible. A family room is best for monitoring and supervision.
  • Discuss the risks with your child. Don’t wait for something to happen before you talk to your child about the potential risks of gaming online. Ensure they have privacy settings activated and help them to understand why this needs to be done.
  • Gaming sites often have ways of reporting abusive chat and blocking unwelcome contact from other users. Familiarise yourself with how the gaming sites work and make sure that your child knows how to report anything that makes them feel uncomfortable. Ensure they know that they should report it to you also.
  • Play the games yourself to test them for appropriateness. Games often come with an age rating and while this should be used as a guide, you should also test the game yourself or play with your child to make sure you are happy for them to use it.
  • Ask your child what they are playing. Take an interest in your child’s gaming life – just as you would if they were in a football team in the real world. Watch them playing and always keep lines of communication open.

Internet Safety

Find out more about how to keep children and young people safe online by following this link. Website Design & eCommerce Software Shopping Cart Solutions