Understanding children’s online resilience

Rethinking online safety and parental controls By Denis Lundie

Our children already live in an online world. They need to participate responsibly and effectively to be capable, well-adjusted learners and citizens. However, participation entails exposure to risk. Often our response is to try to eliminate risks through technical ‘parental controls’, rules or ‘banning’ orders.

Recent research done by Parentzone in conjunction with Virgin Media and the Oxford Internet Institute confirms that, even with the best filters and controls, we cannot eliminate all risks. The study points out that children need more. They need to be able to participate online, take age-appropriate risks, recognise problem areas like bullying and feel comfortable to confide in parents or trusted adults. Waiting until they are ‘old enough’, or for legal and technical fixes is unrealistic and ineffective. This report looks at what online resilience is and how to foster it.

Read or Download the Parentzone Online Resilience Report 2017


Parentzone promotes positive internet use for families. It is a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety. It also works in conjunction with CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) through a Parentinfo website, which covers many areas of parenting. Parents can sign up to either and the information is reliable.

The Oxford Internet Institute is a research unit of Oxford University dedicated to the social science of the internet.

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