Student guide to keeping safe
If you are worried about the welfare of a young person you need to talk to an adult you trust. This is the best way of seeking help in what can be very difficult circumstances. You can always talk to a member of staff at school or the school counsellor if you do not feel able to talk to anyone in your family about the problem.
Keeping safe online
The internet allows us access to information, opinion and knowledge. Social networking means that we can keep in touch with friends and family and share our news and photos. However, young people need to ensure that they understand and are able to manage the risks that can arise. Here are a few basic rules to help you keep safe.
- Always keep details such as your full name, address, mobile number, email address, school name and your friends’ full names secret. If you have to give an online screen name or nickname, never use your real name.
- Check your privacy settings - making sure you know what you are making public and available. Be careful about what you include in status updates and the pictures you choose to share. Make sure that only your real life friends can see the things you post.
- Accounts can be hacked into if you have a weak password, so make sure your password is one which only you know and is made up of letters, numbers and symbols and change it frequently.
- When you send a text or photo message from your mobile, your phone number automatically goes with it. So think carefully, especially before sending photos of yourself or friends from your camera-phone.
- When gaming or downloading, check that the website you are on is the official version to avoid viruses and to ensure that sites are properly screened.
- Check out the report abuse section of the games website you're on, or, if you're on your console playing, make sure you know how to block a user and save the evidence of any abusive comments.
- Never agree to meet people that you have never met face to face in real life.
- Bullying can occur online. Posting an embarrassing or humiliating video of someone, harassing someone by sending messages or even setting up profiles on social networking sites are all examples of cyber bullying. The internet can provide an easy way for bullies to intimidate others and say things that they would not dream of saying face to face.
- If you are made to feel unhappy about something that is written online you should:
- Talk to an adult you trust.
- Not reply to messages and block the sender.
- Be careful about what you do too. Stop and think of the consequences and the impact of what you say, before you write a message.
For further information and advice: