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How to Report an Online Incident in Your Country

helplines and hotlines reporting Feb 04, 2018

What do you do if you or your child experiences an online incident?

Parenting in the digital age is no different than ‘regular’ parenting and one of the first things that a parent must do is to note the contact information for emergency (online) services, just like you do in the offline world. What parent doesn’t know the emergency number to call for firefighters or police?

This How-To contains all the contact information that you need in the event of a digital emergency in France, Canada, Belgium, the US and the UK.

And I hope that you NEVER EVER need them. Period.

As an Internet enthusiast, I encourage children and young people to enjoy (age appropriate) technology and I provide lessons on digital citizenship so that they can use technology and the Internet in a responsible manner. Despite these precautions, it is inevitable that something inappropriate will happen. While I sincerely hope that the degree of the incident is minor and nothing more than a few comments like your “backpack is ugly”, it is possible that someone may post something hateful, threatening or really rude about your child.

Social networking sites have legal teams that work to protect you and your child. These child safety teams have created rules that people must adhere to and they have put reporting mechanisms in place to help enforce those rules. Take a peek at the help centers of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, to give you some examples.

In the event that something happens online: either your child sees something inappropriate or someone on a social media site is making your child uncomfortable, use the reporting mechanisms that are available. And take advantage of the support groups, helplines and hotlines that may be available in your country.

Remember these steps if you need to report an incident

  • Screenshots (document everything, comments, pictures, posts, etc.
  • Block (block the person from your account)
  • Report (don’t be afraid to make a report; your identity will be protected)
  • No further contact

HELPLINES IN THE UNITED STATES The CyberTipline is part of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and operates in partnership with the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, military criminal investigative organizations, U.S. Department of Justice, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force program, as well as other state and local law enforcement agencies.

IcanHelpline: is a new social media helpline for schools in California and also has a fantastic page for emergency helplines and hotlines for a range of issues across the country.

End Revenge Porn: a helpline for victims of nonconsensual pornography.

Crash Override Network: is a crisis helpline, advocacy group and resource center for people who are experiencing online abuse.

There are many hotlines and helplines in the United States and depending on what state you are in, you may want to perform a Google search in your own state.

Cyber Tip: is a helpline run by the Canadian Centre for Child Protection: is a registered charitable organization dedicated to the personal safety of all children.

HELPLINE IN FRANCE 0800 200 000 is a free, anonymous and confidential number available 9:00-19:00 during the week. A hotline is staffed by counselors available to speak to parents, teachers, students, children – anyone with an online issue. The free consultation is available via email, chat, Skype, or telephone.

HOTLINE IN FRANCE provides online assistance against child abuse images and racial hate speech. To submit a report, you must contact them via an online contact form.


e-enfance: created in 2005 in France, e-enfance is a non-profit organisation, working in the field of children’s and young people safety on the Internet, mobile, video games.

Internet Sans Crainte: a government project created in France as part of the European Safer Internet Plus project and has been in operation since 2005, under the remit of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Secretariat of State for the Digital Economy.

ChildLine: 0800 111 is a free 24/7 helpline for children and young people. ChildLine is run by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC).


Internet Watch Foundation is the UK hotline for reporting child sexual abuse content hosted anywhere in the world, criminally obscene adult content hosted in the UK, and non-photographic child sexual abuse images hosted in the UK.


UK Safer Internet Centre: provides advice on how to use the Internet and new technologies safely and responsibly.

Childnet International: a non-profit organization working with others to help make the Internet a fun and safe place for children.

The Parent Zone: provides information, help, advice, support and resources to parents, teachers, health professionals, police officers, e-safety officers and HR professionals – anyone who engages with parents.

Internet Matters: an independent, not-for-profit organisation to help parents keep their children safe online.

Internet Watch Foundation: a registered charity working with the internet industry, police and government to eliminate child abuse images.

Child Exploitation and Online Protection: a subset of the National Crime Agency, 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. CEOP can also be used to report online radicalization of children.

Child Focus helpline offers children, young people, parents and the general public advice on how to deal with harmful contacts, conduct and content. To facilitate contact with its diverse target groups, the services of the Child Focus Helpline are available via the website, by phone, SMS and email.


Stop Child Porno fights against child abuse images on the internet and is a privileged partner of the Belgian police. The hotline can be reached via the website, by phone and by email.


Child Focus offers children, parents, teachers and other professionals, advice and tips on how to avoid risks when using the internet and take advantage of its potential. All material is available in Dutch, French and occasionally also in German.

If you are in another European country, you can find your local helplines and hotlines on this listing available through the Better Internet for Kids portal, developed by European Schoolnet.

If you know of a helpline, hotline or other resource that is not included here, please be sure to let me know at [email protected].

Portions of this post first appeared in

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