Staying Safe Online

55% of children and young people use the internet every day. With such a huge amount of you accessing the web, it’s really important that you know how to use it safely. Chat safe, be safe Internet chat rooms and instant messaging are a great way to talk to your friends and can be a lot of fun, however there’s also a dark side to them. When you meet somebody online, it doesn’t mean they are who they say they are. If you do start talking to people you don’t know IRL (in real life), say no to….

  • Giving out your real name
  • Sharing your phone number or address with strangers
  • Meeting strangers. Always tell a pal, a parent or guardian if a stranger asks to meet you
  • Showing a photo of yourself
  • Disclosing your bank details

If you watch the video below, you can see the real danger of chat rooms.

Spam attacks

Have you ever received an email that seemed too good to be true? “Congratulations you’ve just won £1 million!” – Yeah you probably haven’t… Unwanted and unfamiliar emails are such a nuisance and we’ve all had them, so how did we get them and how can we prevent them in the future? Not giving out your email address freely online will help prevent an inbox full of spam. It’s worth while making sure your passwords are also secure by changing them regularly and using words with a mixture of numbers and letters. This will help prevent against hacking of your accounts which can subsequently lead to your email address sending other people spam. Top tips:

  • Password control – Use upper and lowercase letters, use numbers and make sure it’s not your name!
  • Don’t open e-mails from addresses you don’t recognize – it’s probably spam that may give your computer a virus.
  • Never download or open attachments in emails you don’t recognize – you don’t know what your actually getting.
  • Don’t reply to unfamiliar e-mails either. Once you open that can of worms well… I think you know the rest!

For more information visit Ofcom.


Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram, once you post something online it’s there to stay forever, even if you delete it. That’s why it’s so important to think about what you’re posting or tweeting before you do it. You also shouldn’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know – after all, they may not be the person in their display picture. It’s also important to keep up to date with your privacy settings so the world can’t see your posts. Keep it private and you’ll keep it safe.

Check out Think U Know‘s brilliant interactive game to test your own safety knowledge.

Cyber Bullying

A staggering 38% of young people have experienced some sort of bullying online. Although this is a huge number, there are plenty of ways to stop it happening and lots of trusted people you can talk to about it. Firstly, don’t disclose any personal information online, especially your phone number and address. Secondly, if you feel you are being bullied tell someone about it. There are loads of people available night and day that you can go to for help so you should never feel alone.

As well as talking to your parents or family members you can also talk to teachers, your school nurse or call ChildLine confidentially. Watch the video below to see the affects on cyber bullying and staying safe online.

For more information visit the NCPC site.  

To find out more about staying safe online, there’s a number of websites you can visit:

Choices for Life


Young Scot

Think U Know

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