Getting Support from The Professionals Online Safety Helpline: What You Need to Know

Getting Support from The Professionals Online Safety Helpline: What You Need to Know

Our Professionals Online Safety Helpline supports professionals working with children and young people with online safety issues. Since 2011, our helpline has assisted with thousands of enquiries across the UK, helping teachers, care workers, and other professionals. The experience of our helpline practitioners enables us to offer extensive guidance on online reputation, sexual harassment, and other online safety concerns. Alongside this, relationships with platforms including  TikTok, Meta, and Snapchat allow the helpline to effectively address and escalate reports.

Making a report can be complicated and may vary depending on the situation, however, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline has plenty of guidance to help. Find out more about the support available below.  

When to Contact the Helpline

Depending on the online safety concern you have, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline has different procedures to help you if you need to make a report or want advice and guidance on safeguarding.

There are some instances, such as impersonation, where you may have to make a report by yourself to provide identification. You can find out more about the support available for impersonation attempts here.

In more complex incidents, such as sexting or online reputation, we can provide guidance on how to respond, and advise on the support that is available to you.

In instances where you have reported content directly to a social media platform, we always suggest that it may be worth waiting 48 hours for their response, which will allow us to understand how the platform responded. However, if there is a safeguarding concern or you are not sure whether you need to report directly to a social media platform first, you can get in touch with us straight away and our practitioners will provide you with support and guidance.

Reporting Content to Social Media Platforms

When making a report about content shared on social media platforms, there are several things you can do to help us understand and resolve the situation as quickly as possible:

If a URL isn't available, the helpline can sometimes use the account username to find the content in question. In cases where the evidence isn’t publicly accessible, for example, when the account is set to private or the evidence is shared through private messages, we will usually require screenshot or photo evidence.

Remember: The Professionals Online Safety Helpline cannot assist you with investigating accounts and can only escalate content for removal.

Additional information about how to make a report to TikTok is available on our website.

Guidance for Online Reputational Concerns and the Online Sexual Harassment of Staff

Reports about online reputation and the online sexual harassment of staff are some of the most common queries we receive through the helpline. In response to this, we have published extensive guidance on how to resolve these concerns.

Sometimes it can be hard to know who can assist in reporting and removing incidents online, so it’s important to get in touch and explain your situation and the steps you have taken to address the concern in detail. In cases where an allegation has been made, it can often be difficult to remove the content. However, in cases where you believe a violation of the platform's community guidelines may have occurred, our practitioners can often help to escalate reports further.

Access our guidance for schools in England looking for information about online reputation.

View our guidance for schools and colleges in England about how to respond to the online sexual harassment of staff.

Accessing Further Advice

No matter what online safety concern you are having, the Professionals Online Safety Helpline will do our best to support you. If you do choose to get in touch with us and require further advice, remember to always provide as much context as you can, including:

  • How you/your school/organisation is responding.
  • What steps have been taken to address the concern so far.
  • What further advice you would like, or how we can best support you.

Any professional working with young people can contact the Professionals Online Safety Helpline by emailing or calling 0344 381 4772. Our helpline is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm, excluding bank holidays.

To find out more about the Professionals Online Safety Helpline, you can visit our website below.

Professionals Online Safety Helpline

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