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Keeping Safe in Cyberspace

The Internet has changed the lives for most of us and has opened up the world for us all to see…and whilst it’s great fun to speak to friends and find out new and exciting things, it’s important to be safe when on online. Here, we answer some of your questions.

My mum is so nosey she wants to know about everything I do online, why doesn’t she understand it’s private?

Just like your mum and dad kept you safe when you were younger; holding your hand when you crossed the road and telling you not to talk to strangers. The same rules apply here. So rather than keeping your parents out, invite them to look at the sites you visit, ask them what their rules are for chatting to friends and using passwords. Chances are once they have seen what you do online, they will feel more comfortable to leave you alone to browse.

I’ve done something silly and posted a semi-naked picture of myself to someone and they’ve now shared it with others, I feel humiliated.

it’s easy to get into this situation, especially if someone keeps urging you to send them a picture reassuring you, they will not pass it on. Whilst there is nothing you can do now to stop this picture being shown, you may want to inform this person that it is illegal for naked pictures of anyone under the age of 18 to be shared and that includes you taking the photo, or someone else sending it on. In future a good tip is to never share or upload a photo to someone or a website that you would not be happy for your parents to see.

I’ve met someone in a chat room and they seems really nice, they wants to meet up, what shall I do?

People are not always who they claim to be online, and our general rule is to never speak to someone if you do not know them in person. If they’re persistent then have a chat to your parents and inform them of the request to meet up, of course it could be that they are genuine and if this is the case they will not mind meeting you along with your parents as chaperones.

I keep getting a message saying I have to upload something; they’re asking me for my details what should I do?

NEVER give out any personal information and if you see a message don’t be tempted to open it. Instead show it to your parents or the person who cares for you and they will handle it. This e-mail could be a virus or someone trying to obtain your personal details or even someone tricking you into purchasing something.

A girl from school is spreading rumours about me online, how can I make her stop?

Don’t be tempted to reply to these messages, very often bullies stop bullying when they see their comments are not bothering you. If you prefer, block the bully from your contact list or even delete yourself from the site for a while. If you feel these comments are getting serious then you can also report the person to the website.

I accidently clicked on a site showing pornographic images, now I’m frightened my parents will find out and be cross.

Even the most experienced surfers can sometimes click on inappropriate sites, and it does not make you a bad person or prove you have done something wrong. If this happens again, call your mum or dad over and show them what has popped-up, they can then ensure that you have the right parental controls and Internet security to protect you from this in the future.

We hope this has been useful and remember that if at any time someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable, or you are unhappy with the images or text you are viewing, leave the website, turn off your pc, iPad, tablet or mobile and tell a trusted adult.

Finally, the Internet is a fabulous tool for getting to know the world around you and chatting to others but treat it with respect; be polite when speaking to others and remember just because you don’t agree with someone’s view, it does not mean you have to be rude!



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