STAYING SAFE ONLINE
Find out how to stay safe online and things to look out for when using social apps and online games.
Know who your friends are. It’s really tempting to accept as many friend requests or follows as possible. It can make us feel popular. But remember, they could be anyone. Do you really want them seeing your pictures, videos or comments?
To stay safe online make sure your friends and followers are people you know in real life!
Use privacy settings! Most social networks let you limit what you share to friends or followers. It’s always a good idea to only let people you know and trust see your stuff.
Learn how to use privacy settings and how to block people who are bothering you.
SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION
Social networks let you post all kinds of information. The more information you put online the more people can find out about you. Some people might use this to bully you, or contact you and lie about being into the same things as you.
IT'S EASY TO LIE ONLINE
Some people set up fake profiles on social networks. They even pretend to be girls or boys your age when actually they’re much older. It can be really hard to tell the difference between someone who’s genuine and a fake.
Sometimes known as “going live”, is the broadcasting of live videos over the internet, many people use it to share talents. It’s important to remember that live videos can be recorded and shared without your permission.
Lots of people like to share selfies with friends. Remember once an image has been shared, there’s a chance that it could be shared with more people. No one has the right to pressure someone else into sharing an image. Everyone has the right to say ‘no’ if someone asks them to do something they’re not comfortable with.
There's a game out there for everyone. Some might prefer sporting games like FIFA and NBA, others play adventure games such as Fortnite and Minecraft.
Online gaming is more fun when people:
Treat others with respect
Play fairly and within the rules of the game
Keep personal information private Make sure that content they’re sharing is not racially, religiously or sexually offensive
CHATTING TO OTHER GAMERS
Chatting to other gamers can make it more fun too. It's likely that you'll chat to people that you've never met in real life. They might make you laugh, or give you great gaming tips. And it can feel like you know them well, especially if you voice chat with them through an app like Discord. But remember - it's easy for people to lie online, and some gamers might put pressure on you to do things you're not comfortable with.
GAMERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
They seem to good to be true.
Do they like all the same things as you? Do they say nice things about you all of the time?
It’s great to game with people that you have things in common with, but sometimes people lie to build a relationship with you, and pressure you into doing things.
They want to chat in private.
Nearly all games have the option to ‘chat’ - you don’t need to add gamer friends on private messaging apps like Skype or WhatsApp anymore. Avoid private chats as people are more likely to make you uncomfortable there.
They say sexual things.
If they try to talk to you about sex, and particularly if they want to talk about sex quickly, they’re probably not a ‘real’ friend. If their sexual chat makes you feel uncomfortable, you could speak to an adult that you know and trust.
They're much older than you.
Gamers come in all different shapes and sizes. You’re likely to have fun chatting with gamers of all ages. But it’s strange for adults to try and get really close to you.
Know how to get help. If someone’s bullying you on a social network, being weird, making you feel uncomfortable or asking you to do things you don't want to do you should talk to an adult you trust, or, if you’d rather speak to someone you can call Childline on 0800 1111.
Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors.
Who are CEOP Child Protection Advisors?
A CEOP Child Protection Advisor is someone who:
Will try to help you.
Will listen to what you have to say.
Will not be shocked by what you tell them.
Will be honest with you.
Will not judge or blame you.
Will make decisions jointly with you wherever possible.
Will work with other professionals to keep you safe.
Will talk to your parents/carers for you, if you want them to, to explain what has happened.
Resources for Young People & Parents/Carers