The internet is a brilliant place to connect with others, be creative and to discover new things. You may use the internet in a wide variety of ways and it is important to stay safe online, particularly when connecting with other people who you do not know in real life.
Be careful who you trust online: Remember that people you have met online are still strangers. Meeting up in person can be dangerous and it is vital you tell a friend and/or family member that you have arranged to meet someone. Tell them who they are, where you will meet and what time. Always meet in a public place with other people nearby and keep in communication with the person who is aware.
Privacy: When speaking to people online do not give out personal information such as addresses, date of birth and mobile number. Giving out personal information can you make you vulnerable.
Know how to block and report users: Most apps and social media sites have tools to enable you to block and report users who are making you feel uncomfortable. Make sure you are aware of how to use these when creating new accounts.
Stay in control: If you have met someone online and you are feeling uncomfortable about conversations you are having or images being shared, tell someone you trust or you can report it to the police through CEOP (add link here).
Search yourself online: If you find something you aren’t happy with, take steps to get it removed.
Check privacy settings: Most social media websites have privacy settings to help manage the content you share and what can be viewed by others.
Think before you post: Ask yourself who you would want to see it. Is it appropriate for friends/family/colleagues to see? Remember, once something is online it has the potential to be there forever.
Always respect others: be kind, avoid bigotry and offensive language, and challenge opinions appropriately. Don’t make it personal!
Think before you send: Do you really want to send it? What might happen if you do and it cannot be deleted? What might happen if friends or family see what you have sent?
Keep it private: Be careful about what personal information is on your profile. You can limit who can see your profile by using the privacy settings
Block the bully: Be aware of how to block and report people
Don’t reply: Sometimes we want to respond and stick up for ourselves but usually the best course of action is to not reply to the bully
Save the evidence: Remember to save screen shots of messages or images
Tell someone you trust: It might be a parent/carer, a safe adult at school/college or another professional working with you
Report it: You can report it to the social media site itself, school/college or if it becomes persistent and you continue to be concerned, you can report it to the police
If you are concerned about experiences you are having online there are people who can help: