The internet is like any part of the world: there are lots of great places where you can have fun or find things out, but it’s always important to have safety in mind.
The ten points below can help you stay safe online. Get in touch if you have any comments or questions about them.
Ten things to remember
One: Keep personal information safe
You shouldn’t give information such as your home address, phone number or school to people you talk to online, no matter what they say or offer you.
Two: Think before giving personal information to websites
When you want to sign up to an internet site you will often be asked to give out personal information like your name, address and telephone number. It’s important to stop and think before you do. What will the information be used for? Who might get hold of it? If you’re not sure, you should talk to a parent or carer before you sign up.
Three: Know what’s public
Information on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter can often be seen by anyone. Because of this, you should think about what you do and don’t put on these sites.
Think about the photos you put on the internet, and whether you are comfortable with them being public. To protect your identity, you can make your photo on a website a drawing or abstract picture instead of a photo of yourself.
Four: Be careful with strangers online
Never arrange to meet anyone in the real world who you only know online, unless your parent or carer agrees and comes with you.
Five: Don’t stand for being threatened
If someone threatens you online or says something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t respond. Instead, tell a parent or carer and report the person to the site that you’re on. You may also want to contact CEOP about what the person has said.
Six: Keep passwords private
Any passwords you use are supposed to be secret, so it’s best to keep them to yourself. You shouldn’t use the same password in two different places on the internet.
Seven: Use a nickname if possible
You should use a nickname on internet forums and social media sites where you are able to. This will mean people on those sites will find it more difficult to find information about you, such as where you live.
Eight: Watch out for spam
Some companies may pass on all or some of the information you tell them when you sign up to or interact with their website. This can mean you get lots of unwanted emails from other companies. To prevent this, check any forms you fill in on websites. Most of them will have a small box you can tick or untick to make sure your information is not passed on.
Nine: Always scan for viruses
Viruses can spread through email attachments, causing serious damage to the device you’re on when you open them. Make sure emails are from people you know and trust before opening their attachments. Even this isn’t foolproof, so if you’re unsure you should scan the email for viruses or delete it.
Ten: Stay safe on phones and consoles, too
All the advice above applies no matter what device you’re using the internet on. It’s important to be as careful on a phone, tablet or console as it is when you’re on a computer.
If you see this picture on the sites you use, you can click on it to get advice and help about internet safety. You can do this whether you feel safe or not.
Reporting to CEOP
You can send CEOP a report if someone has acted inappropriately online towards you or to a child or young person you know. This may include:
- talking about things that make you feel uncomfortable
- being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable
- someone insisting that you meet up with them.