Search Our Site

We have 3,749,659 registered online learners.
1,045 new learners so far today.

Safeguarding & technology: how to protect children from harm

schedule 24th July 2017 by Emma Brook in Virtual College Last updated on 24th April 2018

Safeguarding and technology

In today’s digital world, children and toddlers are growing up surrounded by the latest technology but how can we ensure that they are kept safe from any damaging content?

In our digital world, for the first time in history, children and toddlers are being raised in a world that is rife with technology. While some parents restrict their children's usage of mobiles, tablets and various devices, others are embracing it, despite the effects of the use of technology in the early stages of development being widely unknown.

Many early years practitioners will even argue that technology doesn’t have a place in the pre-school education environment for a number of reasons, including the risk of dangerous content falling into the hands of the most vulnerable.

Yet contrary to this, many studies have revealed huge benefits of incorporating technology into the learning processes of children, including improved retention of information, higher engagement and enhanced learning.

Technology isn’t something parents can run away from, with schools, libraries, shops and businesses utilising digital technology to keep up with competitors and make things easier for their customers and users. Preventing children from using technology will only leave them feeling left behind and curious as to what they are missing out on.

So if our children and toddlers are using technology, how can we protect them from harm? Here we take a look at how best to safeguard your children:

Child-friendly apps

Touch screen devices like tablets and iPads have proven to be some of the most popular devices among young children, mostly because they are easier to use and less likely to be damaged. However, if a child searches a term that is completely innocent, explicit and harmful content can quickly become available.

Parents can prevent this by downloading child-friendly apps that are catered to those aged under five. Simple apps like Shape Arts: Geometry Creations, Moose Math and LetterSchool make learning fun and interactive, replacing traditional (and more messy) childhood activities like painting and drawing.

Child-specific devices

Over the years, tech companies have started to design tablets and devices especially for children. With the iPad Mini, for example, its iOS 9 operating system has a number of parental features like restricting adult content from showing in the web browser, while preventing them from downloading apps without approval.

On the other hand, the Amazon Fire HD 8 slate has been designed for children, coming with a bumper case to prevent the device from damage, and a year-long subscription to Fire For Kids - a channel that has numerous books and TV shows for children.

Parental control software

On the majority of devices and computers, adults are able to set parental controls so that their child only has access to age-appropriate content. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide their customers with free controls that can be set at any time.

Alternatively, it's possible to buy or download parental control software, which is widely available in many different forms and prices online. Software like this will allow you to filter inappropriate content like pornography and violent material, so there is less chance of them being exposed to it. If you have more than one child but share a family computer or device, you will be able to set up various profiles based on your child's age and what you feel is appropriate for them to see.

Related resources

Emma Brook - Virtual College

Author: Emma Brook

Emma works in the marketing design team at Virtual College and works on a variety of print and digital design projects. In her spare time she enjoys going to gigs and the theatre.

ISO 9001:2015
Crown Commercial Service Supplier
LPI Accredited Learning Technologies Provider


+44 (0)1943 605 976

Virtual College

Marsel House


West Yorkshire

LS29 8DD

Awards for footer
Gold and silver award winners at the Learning Technologies Awards 2017 - including gold for excellence in the design of learning content.


We are in the process of moving to one Virtual College website. If you want to go back to a course, or start a course, bought from our old website then you may need to login to our original learning management system. Otherwise, please proceed to our new learning management system to return to your training.


You are already logged in. Click the button below to be taken to your LMS dashboard. Alternatively, click logout to leave the system.