Everyone is spending more time online and using lots of different electronic devices. It opens up a wonderful world of information and opportunities to share with friends and family. But we all need to understand that there are dangers in the online world just as there are in the 'real' world. We are used to the dangers in the 'real' world but we must remember that there are dangers online as well.
Birch class had a look at some of the familiar dangers in the real world and then thought how they relate to the online world. Here are some examples....
Keeping others out. We lock our front doors and make sure other people don't have the key. In the digital world we use a password. Make sure your password is
- Strong - so no one can guess it
- Secure - don't tell others or write it where someone else can see it
- Different - don't use the same password for all your accounts.
If you think someone knows your password, change it. Tell someone if you think it has been used by someone else.
Don't be tempted to fill in every detail online. Only use what is necessary. A nickname may be best in some cases. On social media sites, check the privacy settings so that your details are not shared with everyone.
Keep what's private, private We pull our curtains because we don't want to share everything with everyone. Be careful what you share online. Remember, you may think you are just sending a message to one friend. But if they decide to pass it on there is no knowing where it might end up and who else might see it. The best advice is that if you don't want the world to know, don't share it on the World Wide Web.
Are you old enough Different sites and content have age restrictions. They are there for a reason. Do not lie about your age. Many social media sites have a minimum age of 13 years old.
If you do come across content that makes you feel uncomfortable or you know is not appropriate for your age, tell an adult. If there are filters in place which haven't worked, this needs to be reported.
There are plenty of good sites with content suitable for your age group. Enjoy those and avoid sites you know are not suitable for you.
Who can you trust? We understand that we can't trust everyone we meet and should be careful about people we don't know. Online it can be more difficult because we can't see or hear them. Be very careful about anyone you meet online who you do not know from the 'real' world. If you are feeling uncomfortable about what someone you have never met is saying to you online, report it to a trusted adult. NEVER agree to meet someone you have only met online. Tell an adult about it if someone asks you to meet them.
Who's the bully? Sadly there are people who try to bully others online. It may not be physical but being bullied online can be distressing because you can't get away from it. It's always there whenever you turn on your device.
If you are upset by what someone is saying to you, tell a trusted adult about it. It is important that it is dealt with as soon as possible.
Be careful what you say yourself online. Remember people won't hear your tone of voice or see the expression on your face. What you meant as a little joke might feel very cruel to someone not understanding you. Keep all talk simple and friendly.
If you see or read anything online that disturbs you, report it to CEOP. There is a button at the bottom of every page on this site that will take you straight there..
There are some good sites that can tell you more about keeping safe online. Thinkyouknow is run by CEOP and has advice for both children and adults. There are some good games and videos and advice on staying safe in many different online situations. Other websites include the The NSPCC and GetSafeOnline.