For internet advice, help or to make a report, visit CEOP’s online safety centre.
Guy Fawkes shares his personal information online and gets into trouble.
Top tips for staying safe online
Personal information should not be posted online
Information like your name, address, mobile number, email address, username and password should be kept secret. People can use this information to contact you. When asked for a password, try not to use things that are easy to guess like your parents name or a pet’s name. When you send a message from your mobile, your phone number automatically goes with it. So think carefully, especially before sending photos of yourself or friends.
Keep your privacy settings as high as possible
Many social networking sites allow you to change your security settings. It is a good idea to ensure your account is as secure as possible. By doing so personal information can only be viewed by family and friends.
Think carefully before posting pictures or videos
Once pictures are uploaded to the internet they can instantly be viewed. Even if you remove the picture straight away there is a possibility that the images have already been downloaded and forwarded to people who you are not friends with.
Never give out your passwords
Passwords are required by most social networking, chat room and email based websites. It is important to remember your passwords. It is tempting to write them down, but this can lead to your account being hacked. Also, don’t use any passwords that can be easy guessed, such as family name, pet name, name of your favorite football team, etc.
Don’t chat to / befriend people you don’t know
Social networking sites and chat rooms are a fun way to communicate with your family and friends. However, they can also be dangerous because these websites allow strangers to talk to you online. Remember: ‘Stranger Danger’. If you accept a friend request by accident, you can always remove them after the request has been accepted.
Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online
Speak to parents or carers about people who want to meet up with you. Meeting someone you’ve only been in touch with online can be dangerous as they may have been lying about who they are. Many websites have an ‘alert button’ where you can tell them that you’re upset about something or someone. Alternatively, you can always log-off and leave the website. The same rule applies if you are upset or worried by anything when using your mobile.
Respect yourself and the feeling of others
Don’t send information, photos or gossip about other people without asking them first. Unfortunately the internet can be used as a tool to bully people. Often people may misinterpret comments that have been posted online and this can lead to arguments.
What is social networking?
Social networking is the use of dedicated websites that allow people to communicate with other members of the site. Popular ones include Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. Members of these sites can post comments, chat online, share photographs and videos.
What are the disadvantages of social networking?
Lack of anonymity – people often post personal information and photographs that they wouldn’t normally share with others. This can affect their work and private life.
Some people become obsessed and spend long periods of time on social networking sites.
Provides criminal with information they can lead to identify theft, scams and burglaries.
Should I accept an unknown friend request?
If you don’t recognise the name of a person or their profile image, don’t accept them.
How old do I need to be to have a social networking account?
Many social networking websites specify that you have to be thirteen to register an account. However, parents may enforce their own rules.
What information shouldn’t I put online?
Any personal information should not be posted online as this may allow strangers to contact you. Never give out:
- Personal details of family and friends
- Your address, school or email address
- Phone numbers
- A photo of yourself
- Date of birth
Is it safe to meet someone I’ve met online?
You should never meet, in person, anyone you’ve met online, without your parent or carer’s permission. Even if you get permission, make sure you have an adult with you when you meet for the first time. Meeting someone you’ve only been in touch with online can be dangerous as they may have been lying about who they are.
Is email safe?
Sending and receiving emails is usually safe. However, don’t open emails with attachments from people you don’t know or trust as they could contain a computer virus or unwanted messages. Any unwanted emails or spam should be deleted. Special software can be used to block any such emails being received.
Are chat rooms safe to use?
A chat room allows people to communicate online. People can reply to instantly to live messages. Chat rooms bring people together who may share an interest in a specific topic. Never agree to a private chat with someone unless you already know them.
Find out how to set privacy settings on a range of popular Social Media websites.
Learn about online safety when gaming, or using blogs, chat, P2P and mobiles.
Get help with technologies and issues that children come across online.
Find Out More…
- CBBC – Stay Safe
- Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
- Chat Danger
- Safety Net Kids
- Virgin Media Online Safety Test
- UK Safer Internet Centre – Guides & Resources