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Staying Safe Online

It’s not always easy to know what’s safe online and what’s not. There are lots of fun and interesting things you can do on the internet; and it can be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family. But it’s important to understand how to stay safe online. Educating yourself, keeping up to date on security and staying away of privacy issues can help you keep clear of abuse or bullying.

Some of the risky things you may come across online are:

  • Bullying by people you might consider ‘friends’
  • Seeing inappropriate or harmful content (e.g posting rude or sexual pictures)
  • Posting personal information that can identify and locate you offline
  • Being persuaded to do illegal or inappropriate things through contact with strangers
  • Seeing information and talking with others line who encourage self-harm
  • Seeing racist or hateful material
  • Being encouraged to leave or run away from home by someone you met online

Places you can go if you need help:

Childline has lots of great resources on their website to help you stay safe online. Here you can find ways to get support if things go wrong, keeping your information secure and how to spot fake news.

Brook offer advice on cyber bullying, online dating, sexting and selfies. The website also includes stories of real people and their experiences online.

Thinkuknow is from a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. Explore any of the six Thinkuknow websites for advice about staying sae when you’re on a phone, tablet or computer.

The BBC shares that the internet is an amazing place to be creative, chat with friends, and to find interesting fun stuff. It’s important to enjoy that time, so the BBC have shared 8 top tips for staying safe online.

Kidscape offer advice targeted at cyber-bullying, including who you can report it to and the steps that you should take to manage the situation.

Online Gaming & Livestreams

Criminals are increasingly targeting children and young people via online gaming sites, pretending to be someone who they are not. Online games like Fortnite and Roblox can let you play with your friends and strangers from around the world. But playing with people online can also be risky.

Childline has lots of great information on how you can stay safe whilst playing games online, by yourself or on your mobile.

ThinkUKnow offers tips for online gaming and playing safely online.

Livestreaming is a popular way to communicate with your friends or wider community, but livestreams have risks. Remember that they can’t be edited, and you can’t erase what people have already seen. You can find out more about livestreaming and staying safe here.

Remember: your online friends are not the same as your real ones.