The internet is a great way to connect with friends and learn new things. It’s also important to stay safe and make sure you don’t share things that could put you or others in danger. People can pretend to be your age and unfortunately there have been cases where adults have pretended to be teenagers and lured young people into meeting them in dangerous situations. Some of these cases have ended up in court in the UK.
- If the person tries to insist on having your address or phone number
- If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else
- If the person wants to keep their chats with you secret
- If the person tells you that you will get into trouble if you tell an adult what has been going on
- If the person wants you to email them pictures of yourself or use a webcam in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable
- If the person shares information with you and tells you not to tell anyone else about it
- If the person wants to meet you and tells you not to let anyone know
- If you find any of these danger signs it’s important that you tell your parents or another adult.
The S.M.A.R.T. rules to staying safe on the Internet
S – SAFE
Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information – such as your name, email, phone number, home address or school name – to people who you don’t know online. Use a nickname that doesn’t reveal your name, or even the area you live.
M – MEETING
Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’/carers’ permission and when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
A – ACCEPTING
Accepting emails, instant messages or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
R – RELIABLE
Someone online may be lying about who they are, and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, book or some who knows.
T – TELL
Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried or if you are or someone you know is being bullied online.
If you are worried about something, do not bottle it up. Call ChildLine free on 0800 1111. Calls are confidential and won’t appear on your home phone bill. You can also use a mobile. Calls from 3 (Three), BT Mobile, EE, O2, Orange, T Mobile, Virgin or Vodafone mobiles won’t show up on the phone bill either.
Help and advice at NA College is available with our Student Services Team. Telephone 0191 466 1188 or email email@example.com and a member of the team will forward your request as soon as possible.