One of the main problems when it comes to the safety online for both children and youth is that they(we) don’t care for the opinion of police regardless, even though the police is officially here to protect all of us.
I can’t however say I would blame anyone who doesn’t trust the police, as I don’t trust the police at my own country either, as they’re corrupt and as untrustworthy as it can be.
The only reason I do trust and try to support the British police is that I got into contact here at Twitter with a police officer, who has shown me there are good people at the police, who care, but also can be trusted.

I personally take my safety online as first importance, hence I am always connected through personal VPN servers, and don’t actually talk that often with people 1-on-1, the few people I do talk 1-on-1 with are almost always those who I also know in real life.
The problem to this, however, is that most websites are nowadays blocking access when you are connected through a VPN server, but also ask for personal information when signing up to their websites, or like at social media, ask for a photocopy of your ID, passport, or driver’s license.
Simply put, that photocopy could get into the hands of bad people, regardless if you suppose the connection is 1-on-1, as there are enough ways nowadays not make it 1-on-1, and not just with scam-websites as some suppose.
So, at that moment it wouldn’t even matter if we were or weren’t honest about our age, as it could be found out regardless of what we say at any of our profiles.

To not over-complicate, there is a lack of trust of those who should protect us, but apart of that, just a lack of protection regardless.
And as you said yourself, when we say a different age at our profiles, we could receive less, or even no, support at all, which ain’t right.
It’s kind of easy to say that we need to be more aware of our safety, but when someone like me states their age at their profiles, which I do, it also actually causes unsafety.
Yet, if we don’t, predators could just say they were fully unaware of our ages…

All in all, it is the law system that is broken, it has never been ready for the internet, and still actually ain’t ready.
Like I just stated about social media platforms being mostly US-based for example, which can cause someone to protect them by US-laws, or use the US-laws to get away with their crimes, while in other cases local laws are being used…
It’s a mess, and those who should fix these problems, which are the politicians, they are at most countries only busy with military and economical problems, while basically letting their countries become more unsafe day by day.
For example, these past few days I read about a total of 6 children having committed suicide over cyber-bullying, and the bullies get away with it, as they’re at other countries, and there’s no international protection at the internet, primarily caused by politicians only caring about military issues, and by this causing countries to be unsupportive to each other, even when it comes to the fact that children are dying every day by something that could be solved within 48 hours if they truly committed their time.

Children and youth need to be given the example, and when I am honest, there only very few adults who do, as there are a huge amount of adults who are cyberbullies, trolls, etcetera….
That is the true problem regarding our safety, and our thinking, that too many give us a bad example…