Being safe Online
Being online with friends and family can be fun and educational, but it’s also important
that you’re safe when you’re online.

Being online

The online world offers a way to research and find information, stay in touch with friends and family, listen to music, play games and more besides.

It is important to be alert to potential dangers too.

These include:

  • Exposure to inappropriate content: You may see something or read something you are unsure of and which makes you uncomfortable
  • Cyberbullying: This involves people sending hurtful messages or content to others online using smartphones, tablets or other connected devices
  • People not being who they seem: Can you be sure the person you are talking to is who they say they are?

Steps to staying safe when setting up a social media profile

First name or nickname

Use your first name or a nickname when talking online, or when setting up a social networking profile.

Be honest

Be honest about your age.

Choose a password

Keep your account private by choosing a password that others wouldn't be able to guess and only share you password with your parents or guardians.

Set to private

Set your privacy settings to 'private' so that only people who you are friends with can see your photographs, information and posts. A trusted adult may be able to help you with this.

Delete and block

If somebody you don't know adds you as a friend, you can delete and block their request

Avoid sharing personal information

To stay safe, avoid sharing personal information with someone you don't know offline.

Be careful about what you share online​

  • Think before you upload or share anything you wouldn't want your parents or your granny seeing!
  • When sharing pictures on social networks, think about if your photos could give strangers clues about where you live or go to school
  • Check your location settings – some apps like Snapchat share your location with others. You can turn off location sharing
  • Check your privacy settings regularly

Support is available​

If you think you or someone you know isn’t safe online and you’re unsure what to do, you can get support. Is there a trusted adult you can talk to about how you feel? You may feel they won’t understand what you are talking about, or will take away your internet access, but sharing your problem with them and talking it through together can be helpful in finding a way to make things better. 

Childline is always here to listen to you and support you if you would like to talk.

Check these out too:

Childline - Talking makes us Stronger

Talking Makes Us Stronger – Online Safety

If something we see online makes us feel worried or upset, it can help to talk.
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What can I do if I have bullied others?

The first step to changing your behaviour is recognising it – so you have made a start.
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How can bullying take place?

Bullying can be targeted at a person for many different reasons.
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