Most social networking sites let you change the security settings on your profile so it can only be seen by the people who you want to see it.
But by following a few simple tips, you can safely surf the web. You are in control of what you view on-line but it’s best to be cautious.
It's easy to remain anonymous on the web and this can encourage some people to make things up about themselves, even passing off someone else's face as their own
People online are not always what they seem and you’re safer if you only chat to people you know in the real world.
It can be difficult to judge if someone is genuine, especially as you cannot see them. This is why you should be cautious and not give away too much about yourself, your family or your friends.
Your instincts will help you decide if what another person is saying is odd or not quite right and telling you something is wrong. It’s important to trust your instincts and let your parents or guardian know when you think something is wrong.
Anything you post on the internet becomes public information and could remain that way forever. Something you post as a laugh or a joke could cost you in the future so you need be careful what you say or post online.
Always test yourself by asking: "Would I want my mum/teacher/stranger on the bus to see this?" If your answer is no then don’t post it.
Because some people feel totally anonymous in chat rooms, they believe they can act in any way they want. Girls in particular might receive inappropriate comments
Other useful tips include:
Don't give out personal details, photographs or any other information which could be used to identify you, like your address, school or information about your family.
Don't take other people at face value - they might not be what they seem.
Never arrange to meet someone who you’ve only ever met on the Internet without first telling your parents, always get their permission and take a responsible adult with you.
Always stay in the public areas of a chat room, where other people are around.
Don't open an attachment or download a file unless you know and trust the person sending it.
Never respond directly to anything you find disturbing - save or print it, log off and tell an adult.
Websites aren’t always what they seem and be careful what you click on.
Webcams can be really handy and a lot of fun but can be used in the wrong way. Using them just to talk to friends and family is the safest option.
If you think someone is bullying you online, or behaving strangely on a website, contact the site administrator. If someone you have only had contact with online wants to meet you face to face, tell an adult you trust.
Never give out your:• Full name
• Home address
• Phone number
• National insurance number
• Names of family members
• Credit card numbers
Remember.........................................you’re in control in a chat room - you don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t want to!
Connect With Respect
This years slogan for Safer Internet Day is: Let’s create a better internet together.