This section has been developed to help generate discussions about the trustworthiness of content and contact online; developing critical thinking skills and exploring indicators for trust to consider if what we see and who we communicate with online is trustworthy.

Trust Online

Whilst online we can encounter a vast amount of information, photos, videos and messages from others. However, deciphering what we can trust and recognising content which has been edited or contact which isn’t trustworthy can be challenging. When engaging with others online and the content they have shared it is important to consider who they are, what their motives might be and if any key indicators of trust are missing.

Misleading or edited content can be easily shared online both intentionally and unintentionally. However, the impact it can have on the person engaging with it is important as it could lead them to feel worried, upset, confused or develop a false perception of trust.

  • Challenges for young people with additional needs Open or Close

    The internet can be a great platform for young people to find out information or simply engage with contentthey enjoy and find interesting. However, understanding the motives behind why someone has shared something or made contact can be challenging. Being duped by misleading content and contact onlineis a challenge for everyone but those with additional needs may find the concept of trust and motivations particularly difficult to navigate online. Autistic young people, in particular, tend to be very trusting of others and literal in their understanding of the things which they see and hear.

    The internet comes with an added ambiguity that there is no hard and fast rule that will work for every situation. There are key indicators of trust which can be explored and considered when navigating online situations, but these may not always present themselves in an obvious way. Often, we must assess the situation for ourselves, check the information we are seeing and discuss our online experiences with others in order to rate the overall level of trustworthiness.

  • What are the reporting routes for unwanted contact online? Open or Close

    If you are ever concerned that someone is acting inappropriately towards a child online or suspect sexual grooming may be taking place, then you can report this to CEOP. There is more information found at

    If appropriate for the understanding of your young people, share the CEOP reporting website for young people with them ( and explain that CEOP are specialist police officers and part of the National Crime Agency. Their job is to keep young people safe online and you can make a report to them if someone online:

    • Pressures you to share personal information about yourself or others.

    • Asks you to meet up with them or someone else in the offline world, e.g. at a café or park.

    • Asks you to send images or videos of yourself or others.

Download the full 'Trust' pack 

This resource is being developed and launched in stages in order to obtain and build upon feedback whilst working with educators and specialist organisations.

If you have used the resource and would like to give feedback then please complete this survey monkey or email [email protected] 

Download individual resources