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General Tips for Keeping Safe

Be nice to each other online – Treat others with respect online. If someone upsets you, do not react. Block the person on your contacts list, tell an adult you trust and report them to the website. If being bullied, collect evidence for an adult to see by taking screen shots, saving pictures and emails.

Keep your personal information private – Think carefully before sharing information like where you live, your email address or where you go to school on your profile or when chatting online. You might be sharing your personal details with more people than you think.

Think before you post – Stop and think before filling out forms online, updating your status or posting up pictures and videos of yourself or your friends. Think about who can see what you post online, once shared you can easily lose control.

Trust your instincts – If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You can make a choice. If you feel uncomfortable about talking to someone or what you’re being asked to do on a social networking site, chatroom, IM or on webcam, block them, tell an adult you trust and report it to the website.

Use strong passwords – Protect yourself from hackers by using passwords that are not easy for others to guess. Use a combination of upper and lower case letters and numbers and do not share your passwords with others, even your friends.

Not everyone is who they say they are – You may trust a friend really well but it can be easy to lie online. The picture or video could be of someone else or be faked. Think carefully about who you chat to and who you add as a friend online. 

Check your privacy settings – Change your privacy settings so that only your friends can post on your profile and see the information that you share. Remember to check your privacy settings regularly as sites often update these leading you to share more personal information publicly than you may want to.

Take a trusted adult with you when meeting online friends – If you have made a friend online and you decide to meet up in real life, keep safe by taking a trusted adult with you. You should never meet anyone you have met online on your own.

Check your old accounts and profiles – If you have an account on a site that you no longer use go back and check your privacy settings and who your personal details and pictures are being shared with. Close your account if you don’t think you will use it again.

If you are worried tell an adult you trust - If you ever see anything online that upsets you or something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable talk to an adult you trust about it. 

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