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Guidance for young people

We live in a world where many of us are online and there are many benefits of using the interent, but it is important to stay safe whilst doing so.

Protect your online reputation

  • Use the services provided (e.g. privacy settings) to protect your ‘digital footprint’ and always think before you post.
  • Information posted online can last forever and could be shared publicly by anyone.
  • Remember, people you meet online, may not be who they say they are.
  • Think carefully before posting comments, photos or videos of you or your friends online.

Keep it private!

  • Only give your mobile number, personal email address, home address and other contac tdetails to trusted friends, not to people you only know online.
  • Review your privacy settings so only people you know can see your personal information and photographs.
  • Protect your passwords and never give your friends access to your accounts.

Know where to find help

  • Understand how to report abuse to service providers and how to use blocking and deleting tools.
  • If something happens that upsets you online, it’snever too late to tell someone. You can contact police on 101 for help and advice if you are scared or worried about online abuse.

Don’t give into pressure

  • If you lose your inhibitions you've lost control: once you’ve pressed send you can’t take it back.
  • Don’t share or send indecent pictures.

Respect the law and know the rules

It is a criminal offence to:

  • Take, have or share any indecent images of yourself or someone else under the age of 16.
  • You could end up with a criminal record and/or be placed on the sex offenders register.
  • Never send pictures of yourself or any of your friends or family to anyone you meet online without asking your parents/carers.
  • Follow the rules your parents/carers have set when using the internet.

Getting help

  • Tell someone you trust such as a parent or teacher if you are being bullied.
  • Keep messages as evidence to help identify anyone bullying you.
  • Contact us.
  • Report it to CEOP (the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre)
  • Report it to the Internet Watch Foundation.
  • Report it to your Internet Service Provider as they have rules about online behaviour. If anyone breaks those rules they have their account suspended temporarily. If the problem continues the account will be closed permanently.

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