Advice and resources for children and young people about staying safe online and accessing the internet.
Getting online and engaging with the digital world is an important part of modern life. It is increasingly how our services are engaged with, where we find information and how we communicate with each other. On this page you will find information on how to get online in Wiltshire safely and where to get support.
For those who do not have their own devices, all libraries in Wiltshire offer access to computers with broadband internet connection and printing facilities. Visitors can be given temporary access to a computer for a short time with proof of identity. You will be asked to agree to our conditions of use, see our Computers conditions of use page for details.
If you would like a device of your own you may be able to receive a loan PC/ Laptop via the Wiltshire Digital Drive organisation. To access this you can talk organisations like your school, Wiltshire Centre For Independent Living or Wiltshire Parent Carer Council who can help with an application.
If you wish to use your own laptop, tablet, or smart phone, you can connect to the WiltsOnline public wifi available in all Wiltshire libraries. Printing is not available over Wi-Fi, but the library computers can be used for printing.
Assistance can be provided by library staff, and and one to one sessions booked ahead. For more information visit:
There are a number of ways you can adapt your devices to assist you on your digital journey. Most devices that have a user interface can usually change font sizes, colours or use magnification. Many digital systems also have the ability to read out loud the writing on screen. Below are some of the most common free digital adaptations, there are many other bespoke solutions including paid versions you may want to investigate.
Top tip - quick zoom
To increase the size of the text, hold down the ctrl key on the bottom left hand row of the key board whilst using the scroll wheel on the mouse to increase (or decrease) the size of the text. Alternatively you can use the + (plus) and - (minus) keys whilst holding down the ctrl key.
If you are supporting someone or do not use English as your first language you may find it helpful to access free translation software. For additional information on translating whole pages using Google web browser you can visit their guide on translation.
Windows and Apple devices
The two main systems that people might expect to use on a computer are both full of helpful tools to make things easier. These include:
- screen magnification
- high contrast
- spoken commands
To find out more visit, Microsoft: Discover Windows accessibility features or Apple: Accessibility Support.
We often access information through our phones, TVs or tablets. If you need support learning what might be available on your personal devices you may find it on the AbilityNet website. This page even allows you to filter by symptom or category of needs. If you are still still looking for information you may find looking up the device manufactures website helpful as many hold user guides online.
If you are worried that somebody else is being bullied, or if you are struggling with this yourself, try to talk to someone you trust - a parent/carer, or guardian, and get the right help. If you are not sure who to turn to there are some services who can help:
Wiltshire residents can text 'WILTS' to 85258 to access free, confidential mental health support from a trained volunteer who will aim to get them to a safe and calm place. This will include coming up with a plan around how they can manage their mental health, and signposting them to local support agencies where appropriate. Trained volunteers can help with anxiety and stress, depression or sadness, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, panic attacks, loneliness or isolation, abuse and bullying.
This service is available to Wiltshire residents of all ages, it is available 24/7 and won't appear on the texters bill.
If you feel you are being bullied online you can visit Bullying and cyberbullying (childline.org.uk). You can also contact them directly for support.
'Speak out. Stay safe.'
This programme can support school safeguarding duties, it links directly to the curriculum and is offered at no cost to all UK and Channel Island Primary schools.
Schools are supported to deliver the online programme by their local School's co-coordinator. There is also a specially designed SEND programme version.
The programme supports schools in teaching children to:
- recognise abuse in all its forms, including bullying and online abuse
- know how to keep themselves safe by Speaking Out
- understand that abuse is never OK and is never a child's fault
- identify 'trusted adults' they can speak to if they are worried about anything
For the full information please visit Wiltshire Healthy Schools: NSPCC Schools Service (www.wiltshirehealthyschools.org).
Staying safe online means being aware of the different risks and ways to protect yourself. Wiltshire police have a range of pages of information to help with this. They also visit schools to talk about online safety, if you are an educator this can be booked by visiting the Wiltshire Healthy Schools: Police in the classroom (www.wiltshirehealthyschools.org).
Topics that you can find information about include:
- Sexting and staying safe online (wiltshire.police.uk)
- Online child abuse (www.wiltshire.police.uk)
- Cyber crime (www.wiltshire.police.uk)
- Useful contacts for advice about fraud and cyber crime (www.wiltshire.police.uk)
A supporting website which you may also find useful is the National Crime Agency's sexual abuse reporting and information site: CEOP: Thinkuknow - Welcome to CEOP Education
Setting up a social media profile
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter can be a great way to keep in touch with your friends. But do you know how to keep yourself safe?
Most social media pages ask you to set up a profile, this is information about you that other people can read. Be careful about how much information you tell people. You don't want to tell strangers too much. Here is some guidance on dos and don'ts:
- use an unusual password
- keep your password safe - don't tell anyone
- don't use your date of birth, family names, your pets' name or where you live, these are easy to guess
- ask someone you trust to help you with your profile
- remember that you do not need to tell anyone where you are or where you live
make sure you have your security settings private or friends only
- share photos of other people without them saying yes
- tell people personal things about yourself
- talk to people who you don't know in secret
- don't arrange to meet an online friend in the real world without a someone being with you
- don't accept emails, friend requests/ messages or files from people you don't know
- use bad language, get into arguments, or insult people, this is called 'trolling'
- take it too seriously!
For more information about social support you may find Community Connecting a useful team to talk to, visit their page for contact or referral information:
There are all kinds of online support services and information sites for online safety, one of the most comprehensive is the UK Safer Internet Centre. You can find a whole page of video lessons and materials for Parent/carers, guardians and professionals, specific to UK Safer Internet Centre: SEND and the internet. NSPCC also holds lots of online safety advice, as well as being a helpline.
Protecting children and young people from harmful or inappropriate material online is an important responsibility for parent/carers and professionals with a duty of care. It is important to have a dialogue and to teach good practice when online, there are many resources to assist with this learning, the UK Safer Internet Centre: Parental Controls - Protecting young people from inappropriate online content is a starting place.
Setting up restrictions to protect young people can be a challenge across the many devices that have online capabilities these days. You may want to consider the content that can be accessed via video streaming devices like Amazon Fire sticks or games consoles. To find technical guides on setting up parental controls across many different devices you may want to visit Internet Matters: Parental Controls.