Follow these tips to keep yourself safe online.
- Select your profile picture carefully. Don’t use a photo that gives strangers any idea about where you live or which school you go to.
- Never ever give out your address or tell a stranger online what school you go to.
- If someone you met online wants to meet up, let a parent or teacher know first.
- If someone you have never met asks you to send them a photograph, don’t do it. Any photos you send could be available on the internet for everyone to see forever.
- Remember you’re amazing and don’t deserve to feel pressured into talking about anything you’re not completely comfortable with.
Parents and teachers, you can help keep young people safe online with the following tips:
- Make time to show an interest in what your child is doing. If they’re playing online, have a game with them and see how it works. If they’re using social media, ask them to set you an account up and add you as a friend.
- Remember that social media sites aren’t automatically bad. They’re a great resource for research, revision and sharing ideas when used in the correct way.
- Be aware of what ‘connected’ devices are in your household. You can access the internet via computers, laptops, tablets, phones, games consoles, watches and numerous other things. You might choose to change the default wifi password so it’s you who decides what connects and what doesn’t.
- Be aware of what parental controls and restrictions are available to you. An iPad for example will allow you to determine how many hours per day it can connect to the internet and whether social media sites are allowed.
- Lead by example. If you’re not acting responsibly online, how do you expect your children to? Check your own profile picture, if you have a Facebook account, check the security settings, what can a stranger see on your own profile?
The internet and social media are a great tool for learning, sharing and socialising. By using them correctly you can remove the risks of someone spoiling it for you.
Safer Internet Day 2019 is on Tuesday the 5th of February.