Young Users

Guidance for young users on the Internet

You may well pride yourself on being savvy and streetwise. But how web-wise are you?

It is easy to remain anonymous on the web and this can encourage some people to make up things about themselves, even passing off someone else's face as their own.

Sometimes people will give a false impression of themselves, either by exaggerating the truth or lying. A lot of the time you will instinctively know what another person is saying is odd or not quite right. This is your instinct, which acts as a self-defence, telling you something is wrong. It is important to trust these instincts and let your parent or carer know when you think something is wrong.

This instinct works best when you can see or hear a person, but obviously when talking to someone on the web it is not possible to do this so it is important to be even more alert.

The following six points should help you to prevent this happening

The six tips which will help you become web-wise include:

  1. Don't give out personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, such as information about your family, where you live or the school you go to.
  2. Don't take other people at face value - they may not be what they seem.
  3. Never arrange to meet someone you've only ever previously met on the Internet without first telling your parents, getting their permission and taking a responsible adult with you. The first meeting should always be in a public place.
  4. Always stay in public areas of chat and where there are other people around.
  5. Don't open an attachment or download a file unless you know and trust the person who has sent it.
  6. Never respond directly to anything you find disturbing - save or print it, log off and tell an adult.

Internet safety tips

  • It's best not to give out your personal details to online friends
  • Personal stuff includes your messenger id, email address, mobile number and any pictures of you, your family or friends.
  • If you publish a picture or video online anyone can change it or share it.
  • SPAM/Junk email and texts: don’t believe it, reply to it or use it.
  • It’s not a good idea to open files that are from people you don’t know. You won’t know what they contain – it could be a virus, or worse – an inappropriate image or film.
  • It’s easier to get on with people online and say stuff you wouldn’t offline.
  • Some people lie online.
  • It’s better to keep online friends online. Don’t meet up with any strangers without an adult you trust. Better to be uncool than unsafe!
  • It’s never too late to tell someone if something makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • There are people who can help. Report online child abuse, or find more advice and support.

Social Networking

Networking websites such as Facebook and Bebo have exploded in popularity over the last few years and can be a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. However if used unwisely, you can end up displaying all of your personal information and photographs for the whole world to see.

  • Don't add anyone as a friend you don't personally know
  • Don't post any information that you wouldnt want the public to know, such as your mobile phone number
  • Check your page settings to ensure your profile is kept private, and not available for the whole world to see all of your personal information.
  • Never agree to meet up with somebody you have only met through a website

Related Links

Guide to Facebook Privacy

Thinkuknow - Find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology.

Childline - ChildLine is a service provided by the NSPCC, operated by trained volunteer counsellors. It is the UK's free, 24-hour helpline for children in distress or danger. ChildLine can be contacted on 0800 1111