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!
Safer Internet Day - 2013
Connect With Respect
The theme for this year's Safer Internet Day is: Connect With Respect
Protecting Your Information
Facebook has introduced an easy to use feature to protect your information.
On the top right hand side of the Facebook page, next to Your Name, Find Friends and Home is a new padlock icon; this is where you can see your privacy short-cuts. These offer quick and easy privacy settings that you can adjust, including who can see your posts and images. You can also view your time line as someone else would see it, so you can tell the difference between what a friend sees and what someone who you don't know sees.
Below this is your settings on who can contact you. This can restrict who sends you Facebook messages and who can send you a friend request.
The third section contains a block list that you can add the names and email addresses of people that are bothering you, should you be unfortunate enough to become a victim.
Finally there is a link to see more settings about privacy and security.
Setting your privacy and security settings will help safeguard you from people who you do not want to interact with, and will protect your account from being hacked and used in a malicious way.
Directgov © Crown copyright
Thanks to sites like Facebook and Twitter, we can now talk and share online with our friends. However, there are some people who are using social media to cause harm and so it is important you know how to keep your information safe and private.
Some people try to get as many friends as they can to look popular, however this can be dangerous, especially if you are accepting friend requests from people who you don't know. People may be trying to view your account and see who you are talking to especially if you already have your profile set to private.
People on your friends list may not be who they say they are. They may be someone trying to see who your talking to or get access to your photos, or even your friends.
We all have to remember the responsibilities we have online to ourselves and our friends. Remember that anything you say, even in jest or anger can be used against you, and if you are bullying someone you can be easily found out.
We have some great advice that you can use to make sure your Facebook account is safe and private. This guidance also shows you how to deactivate and delete your account, that's right, they are 2 separate options on Facebook; deactivating your account will not get rid of your information.