How to deal with online pornography

Help manage the impact of online porn on children

Learn what steps to take to tackle the impacts of accidental or intentional exposure to online porn on your child, and the next steps to support them.

Display video transcript
Block access to explicit content online, but it shouldn’t be a substitute for talking about the issue.

Your home broadband is the root of your child’s internet access and you can access the parental controls to set acceptable limits on the content your child can view.

If your home broadband is used by your family, then you may want to set parental controls on just the search engines they use.

Set up parental controls across all devices your child has access to; computer, mobile phone, tablet, and games consoles.

Use ad blockers to prevent your child from accidentally clicking on inappropriate adverts in pop-ups.

Check your child’s browser history to keep an eye on what sites they’ve visited. Anything you feel is inappropriate, you can add to the parental controls filter list.

No filter is 100% effective. The most important take out is that talking about the issues around online pornography with your child will be vital to give them the coping strategies to make smarter and safer choices online.

4 quick tips to help you deal with online porn

Have open conversations

If you think your child has come across online pornography, either intentionally or by mistake, it’s important to talk to them about it. Avoid accusing them of anything and instead approach the talk with understanding. After all, children might seek out pornographic content out of curiosity.

Talk about why porn is unrealistic and why you would rather they not see it at their age. It’s best to help them understand the reasons behind your decisions.

Review parental controls and safety settings

If you’ve already set parental controls up to minimise exposure to adult content, it could be time to review those settings. There might be additional controls you can set up as well.

Remember that parental controls cannot stand alone. Pair them with open conversations as well.

Report pornographic content

If your child has accessed pornography or explicit content on social media or other platforms, report it. Platforms like TikTok, Roblox, YouTube and others have community guidelines that will outline what’s allowed on it. Review this and report anything that goes against those guidelines.

Explore how to report a range of issues here.

Get additional support

In extreme cases, you or your child might need additional mental health support. You can find parent support via Family Lives or in online groups. Additionally, your child might feel negatively impacted, requiring support from a counsellor. You can also make use of online resources like Childline, The Mix or Ditch the Label.

Get support with your concerns

Receive personalised resources and advice for your family.


My child has seen online porn. What should I do?

Firstly, it’s important to remain calm. Avoid getting into an argument or accusing children of anything. If they’ve come to you, it’s important to praise them because it likely was a difficult choice.

If your child found online pornography by accident then have age-appropriate conversations and explain why it’s not meant for children. Then, give them the opportunity to talk with you or someone else (e.g. a helpline) about the questions they have or how they feel.

If your child is seeking out online pornography on purpose, talk with them about the reasons why. They may be curious about sex or something they heard from another person. As such, they might be looking for more information. So, give them the opportunity to ask questions in a safe, judgement-free space.


  • Help your child think critically about the images they see online and offline; encourage them to question what they see.
  • Give them coping strategies to help them deal with any online content. See our Digital Resilience Toolkit to learn more.
Display video transcript
32% of teens say they first viewed porn when they were 11 years old or younger.
I don't think anyone finds it comfortable to speak to their child about, you know, the sex talk.
But you need to remember this.
If you don't talk to your child,
then a pornographer will first and you don't want them to speak to them first.
So the idea of approaching this discussion with the things that really matter,
safety, respect a sense of entitlement over your space and your body, these conversations
can be had in a way that doesn't necessarily feel that it's just confined to this one area.
So for example, opening up a conversation about how do you respond?
If someone makes you feel uncomfortable,
how do you ask someone to stop doing something that makes you feel uncomfortable?
How do you say no to somebody that you want to please because you really like them.
So ensuring that you have these conversations in
a wider way and then narrowing down to the specifics will often make it easier.
I often say to parents kind of clock with the kids,
you know what this is going to feel awkward, but it's something that's really important
because so many times what you're going to come across online or maybe even what
kids the same age are going to tell you isn't really based in reality, right?
So this is something I can share with you because I know what really matters.
Make sure you clock issues around body image issues,
around respect and the ability to say no to something you don't want.
It's probably going to be one of those conversations
that you're gonna have and then there'll be questions around it.
So always be open to kind of coming back to it and speaking about it.
And ultimately, what you want to give your child is a sense of entitlement over their own body,
over their own relationships and the way that they manage these.

How to report porn online

If your child comes across adult content in their favourite online platforms, it's important to take action.

How do I report content on TikTok?

According to TikTok’s Community Guidelines, “sexual activity or services” are not allowed. However, content that teaches about sexuality, sex or reproductive health is allowed. Still, that content cannot be explicit.

Learn more about TikTok’s rules around Sensitive and Mature Themes.

If your child sees content that goes against TikTok’s Community Guidelines, they should report it.

How do I report content on Roblox?

According to Roblox’s Community Standards, “content that depicts sexual activity or seeks real world romantic relationships” is prohibited. Additionally, avatars require ‘modesty layers’ when it comes to skin-like textures.

See Roblox’s full Community Standards to learn more.

If your child comes across any adult or explicit content on Roblox, they should report it.

How do I report content on Instagram?

According to Instagram’s Community Guidelines, nudity is not allowed in any form except those in context of health, protest or paintings/sculptures. The Guidelines also state images of nude or partially nude children shared in good faith (such as during bath time) may also be removed.

Learn more about acceptable content on Instagram.

If you or your child believes content goes against Instagram’s Guidelines, you should report it.

How do I report content on YouTube?

According to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, “explicit content meant to be sexually gratifying is not allowed on YouTube.” Such content will be removed under these guidelines.

Learn more about YouTube’s Nudity and Sexual Content Policy.

If your child sees inappropriate content, encourage them to report it.

How to report child sexual abuse

Pornographic content involving minors is illegal. If your child comes across such content, encourage them to tell you immediately. You should then report it to the Internet Watch Foundation.

Was this useful?
Tell us how we can improve it