Looking after your safety online

You spend a lot of your life online, so it is vital that you know how to look after yourself.

Basic online safety

The Metropolitan Police publish the following Golden Rules:

  • Don’t give out personal information such as your address or phone number
  • Don’t send pictures of yourself to anyone, especially indecent pictures (you may know this as sexting)
  • Don’t open emails or attachments from people you don’t know
  • Don’t become online ‘friends’ with people you don’t know
  • Never arrange to meet someone in person who you’ve met online
  • If anything you see or read online worries you, tell someone about it

CEOP is the UK police agency for protecting people online. As well as being the place where you can report serious online incidents, it runs ThinkUKnow which has some very useful pages for 11-13 year olds and 14+ year olds on everything from social network basics to posting pictures to looking for online love.

Another excellent website to check out is Childnet International. Despite its name, it has some very sensible advice for 11-18 year olds. There is a very useful section on cyberbullying.

Other top tips

  • Check the privacy settings for any social networks or apps you use. Make sure you know who can see what you post. You may be surprised how many people can see your embarrassing pictures on Facebook or your comments on someone else’s post.
  • Remember your “digital footprint”. Everything you do online leaves a trace that people can find years afterwards. Think before you post!