The internet is a great place to chat with friends, play games and generally
enjoy your free time. While most internet use is risk and trouble free,
the interent is not without potentially harmful consequences.
On this page we give a run down of the main risks and how to stay safe
when using the interent or social media.
Any behaviour online carries some sort of risk. Once you've posted or uploaded something online it's very hard to take back, anybody you know, and even those you don't, could use this information in a negative or harmful way.
Cyberbullyies and 'trolls' are real problems for young people and to protect yourself you should think about the things you post and share online, a simple way of doing this is thinking to yourself 'would I be happy if everyone I know and care about saw this?'
These considerations are even more important if you are asked to share something explicit, either on a computer or phone, there are serious legal consequences as well if you encourage people to share explicit material or share such material.
If you are getting bullied online by someone you know you should talk to someone you trust about it, such as a parent or a teacher, if they are annonymous you should report them online which can cause their account to be blocked.
Hackers include those who directly try to hack into your computer, those who create websites or 'Clickbaits' which look real so you give your details such as passwords and credit card details and those who send you malicious viruses which infect your computer. These hackers are trying to steal your information which they use for financial gain or for identity theft.
To protect yourself against hackers you should:
Create strong passwords - Using both numbers and letters and a capital letter if you can.
Always have an antivirus software running - This guards against your computer whilst you're online
Check the URL's are genuine - This is the address bar at the top of your internet browser i.e www.in-formed.org.uk
Don't open things from people you don't know - Whether these links are on Facebook such as "I can't believe she said this" or in emails sent directly to you, if you don't know them then you don't know what it contains!
For more information please visit: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/11_13/Need-advice/Staying-secure-online/
Online groomers are found more on social media and gaming websites. These are people who try to befriend you online by pretending to be of a similar age to you. They will try to get you to do things online, such as tell them personal information about yourself, send them pictures and extreme cases ask to meet up with you.
To protect yourself against groomers when you're on social media or gaming you should:
Accept only those you know - While you might want to accept anyone, do you want just anyone looking at your information and pictures.
Check your privacy settings - Make sure you're settings mean that only your friends can see what you post online.
Know how to report - Most social media websites and online gaming sites allow you to report those who are posting nasty or suggestive comments, make sure you know how to alert the website to these people.