It’s not always easy to know what’s safe online and what’s not. The following sections provide advice which can help you to keep safe and to know what to do when things go wrong.
Online safety – guide for parents
Online safety – guide for learners
You can report any issue by using the Report a Concern Form which will be sent to the Safeguarding Team.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place online. Unlike bullying in the real world, online bullying can follow the child wherever they go, via social networks, gaming and mobile phone.
Cyberbullying can include:
Tips to help
Most websites and apps have rules against bullying and harassment, and can help if it's happening to you or someone you know. If you've seen or experienced bullying on social media, it's important to:
Helping someone else
It can be difficult seeing someone being bullied or harassed online. But there are lots of things you can do to help:
Cyberbullying – Social media
Cyberbullying – guide for learners
Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or one of the multitude of sites and apps springing up daily, many of us take social networking for granted.
But like many other things we do online, social networking does have drawbacks – partly because of its vast, often unknown audiences and sometimes caused by comments or images that are posted, either by ourselves or other people.
For example, clicking on links in posts or tweets which can lead to hoax pages and websites designed to defraud you or steal your identity. Not choosing safe passwords, or careless use of passwords, can lead to your account being hacked. You could become the object of bullying, trolling or other forms of online abuse. Or your own careless or ill-considered posts could return to haunt you or others.
Top tips for safe social networking
Safe social networking - guide for learners
What could go wrong with your phone?
Your phone can be a great way to keep in touch with people, share things and get information. But there are things that could go wrong, even when you’re careful. You might:
5 ways to keep your phone safe right now
7 tips to keep you and your phone safe
Mobile phone safety - guide for learners
What is your digital footprint?
Whenever you visit a website, share a photo or make a comment online, you leave a digital footprint that other people can see. Your digital footprint includes all the information you share or that’s collected about you online, and there can be a lot of it.
Lots of the information you share can be seen by other people. It can be used to target adverts at you, or it could be seen by a potential employer years later. Sometimes people can use the details you share to work out your identity.
Your footprint can be both good and bad. It could show things you’re embarrassed about later, or help people to see your skills or things you’re proud of.
7 things that could be part of your digital footprint
Tips to protect your privacy online
Whether you want to protect your privacy or leave a positive digital footprint, we’ve got advice for you.
Taking care of your digital footprint - guide for learners
Online reputation checklist
Online grooming is when someone uses the internet to trick, force or pressure a young person into doing something sexual - like sending a naked video or image of themselves. This is wrong.
Someone who’s grooming others online will sometimes build their trust before talking about doing anything sexual. It’s not easy to know if someone’s trying to groom you, but no matter what’s happening, we can help.
6 places where grooming can happen:
What's online grooming?
Anyone can groom another person. A 'groomer' is someone who makes an emotional connection with someone to try and make you do things like:
Signs of grooming
Every situation is different. And online groomers are really good at lying about who they are. Which means it can be difficult to know if someone is an online friend, or if they're trying to get you to send them sexual images or videos.
If a groomer is trying to get you to share sexual images or do something sexual, often they'll:
It can be difficult to understand when grooming is happening, the signs aren't always clear to spot. Speak to someone you can trust about grooming. And remember - you haven't done anything wrong.
Online grooming - guide for learners
Sexting is when you send a sexual message, photo or video to someone else. It could be a picture of you, but sometimes people send pictures and videos of other people.
Messages could be to a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone online.
5 facts about sexting
Sexting - guide for learners
Keeping your information secure
Having your social media account hacked or finding out someone has stolen your data can be scary and upsetting. But there are easy steps you can take to keep yourself safe.
Use strong passwords
A strong password means that it’s hard for someone else to guess or for a computer to crack. Some people use password managers to store all of their passwords, but these can cost money and aren’t always secure so you need to be careful.
Use these tips for creating a strong password.
Make it long and difficult to guess
Make your password more than 8 characters and use a mix of lower case letters, upper case letters, numbers and special characters (like %, #, ! and £).
Don’t use personal details
People might be able to guess your favourite animal, your birthday or your best friend’s name. Try using 3-4 random words that you can remember instead.
Use different passwords
Change your password regularly and use completely different passwords for different websites and apps.
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