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Staying safe online

Some useful tips for staying safe online.

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Millions of children and young people use the internet every day, and most stay safe. It can be a great place to talk to friends, to share your interests in everything from sports and gaming to music, films and fashion, and a useful resource – particularly for schoolwork!

But it’s really important for everyone, particularly children and young people, to understand the dangers and know the simple rules to follow which can help you to stay out of trouble.

Basic tips for online safety

There is advice on protecting yourself from specific online crimes throughout this website, but below are some general rules to help you stay safe. 

  • Don’t post any of your personal information online – this includes your address, phone number, email address and school.
  • Keep the privacy settings on all your social media accounts as high as possible. This will stop people you don’t know being able to look at your profile. All social media sites have guides that tell you how to set your privacy.
  • Never give your passwords to anyone, especially to people you don’t know.
  • As a rule, what starts online should stay online, so don’t meet up with people you’ve met on the internet as they may not be who they have said they are. Speak to your parent/carer if anyone asks you to meet up. 
  • Think about what you say before you post something online. If you wouldn’t want your parents, friends, school or family to see it then don’t post it.
  • Don’t post anything that might be hurtful or offensive about someone, even if you are angry at the time. Once it’s posted you can’t take it back.
  • Be careful about posting videos or pictures online. Once they’re posted people may be able to download them and then they are out of your control.
  • If you see something online (on a website, in a chat room etc.) that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, tell an adult that you trust about it. 
  • Turn off or cover your webcam when you’re not using it.

Who can help me?

You&Co – you can talk to one of our support workers on a one-to-one basis, and we can offer you help and support whether you decide to report the antisocial behaviour to police or not. We can give you advice on how crime can affect you and how to cope with it, what to do and what to expect if you decide to report a crime to police, and how to move on from being a victim of crime. You can find out about the support available nearest to you on this website.

Think U Know – this website has lots of information on how to keep safe online for young people of all ages, as well as parents and teachers.

ChildLine – ChildLine offer 24-hour support for young people, both on the phone and through online chats and message boards, on grooming, sexual assault and a range of other issues; call 0800 1111.

The Mix – this website provides information and support for 16-25 year olds on a whole range of issues, including rape and sexual assault as well as safe sexual relationships. Get confidential help by telephone, email, text or webchat, for young people under 25; call 0808 808 4994.

The UK Safer Internet Centre  This website has a range of activities to inform you on how to use the internet and technology safely.

Asking for help

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