This article was contributed by NCA-CEOP

NCA-CEOP is a command of the National Crime Agency. As well as being a reporting mechanism, NCA-CEOP works with child protection partners across the UK and overseas to identify the main threats to children, and coordinates activity against these threats to bring offenders to account.

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NCA-CEOP’s new ‘Jessie & Friends’ resource to help keep your child safer online

It’s never too early to talk to your child about what they do online and who to talk to if they come across anything that makes them feel worried, scared or sad.

What is ‘Jessie & Friends’?

Jessie & Friends is a series of three animations provided by NCA-CEOP. The animations follow the adventures of Jessie, Tia and Mo as they navigate the online world, watching videos, sharing pictures and playing games. There is a storybook for each episode, to help you and your child keep the conversation going at home.
The key message throughout Jessie & Friends is that if a child is ever worried about anything they come across online, they should tell a grown-up they trust, who will help them. 
All the animations are accompanied by lesson plans so that teachers and other professionals can explore the themes in the classroom. These give children great opportunities to learn about trust, being kind online, consent, and healthy and unhealthy behaviour online.
Here’s what three parents had to say after watching Jessie & Friends with their children:

How you can use Jessie & Friends to help keep your child safer online

Before you watch Jessie & Friends with your child, here are a few things you can do:
  • Explore together: Ask your child to show you their favourite websites and apps and what they do on them. Show that you are interested in the things they enjoy doing and encourage them to teach you the basics of the site or app that they like.

  • Initiate (and continue) conversations about online safety: Ask your child if anything ever worries them while they’re online. You could use examples of events from the animations and ask if they’ve experienced anything similar. Reinforce the key message that if anything happens online which makes them feel worried, scared or sad, the best thing to do is talk to you about it. Make sure they know that however hard it may be for them to talk about it - you will help them through it.
  • Help your child identify adults who can help: Help your child identify who the trusted adults are in different areas of their life such as at home or at school. This way they will have a better idea of who they can talk to if anything worries them.
  • Try not to judge them: Make it clear to your child that you would never blame them for anything that might happen online, and you will always give them calm and loving support.
  • Supervise younger children while they’re online: We would always recommend that you keep devices that younger children (around 4-7 years old) use in the communal areas of the house such as in the living room or kitchen so that they are not going online without supervision, which of course presents a risk. Parental controls can also be useful on devices that younger children have access to.
  • Talk to your child about how their online actions may affect others: If your child is engaging with others online remind them to consider how someone else might feel before they post or share something. If they are considering sharing a photo or video of somebody else, they should always ask permission first.
  • SafeSearch: The use of SafeSearch is highly recommended for use with young children. Most web search engines will have a SafeSearch function so you can limit the content your child is exposed to whilst online. Look out for the Settings button on your web browser homepage - this is often shaped like a small cog.

What next?

You can watch the three Jessie & Friends animations and download the storybooks here.


NCA-CEOP Safety Centre

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