FACT: Online Identity Fraud is the fastest growing crime in the United Kingdom and that almost 90% of emails are spam
Websites allow people to talk to existing friends and make new friends online as well as sharing photos and other information.
Popular sites include Facebook, Bebo, Twitter and Myspace.
Instant Messaging (IM)
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time text-based communication conveyed over a network, such as the Internet, between two or more people on a user's contact list.
A popular example is Windows Live Messenger.
Chat rooms are online forums where people can talk online.
Although chatting online can be great fun, risks can arise as the cyber world often seems very different to the real world.
Young people can be tempted to say and do things they wouldn’t dream of it they met someone face-to-face.
They should be reminded not to post personal details such as phone numbers or addresses on their homepage and to make sure they do not upload any inappropriate photographs.
You must ensure they have adjusted their account and privacy settings so only approved friends can contact them, or view their photos.
If you don’t know how to use a social networking site ask them how to, so you have a better understanding of how it works
Warn your son/daughter never to meet up with someone they have met online.
Gaming sites can be great fun for young people but as with any online technology, it is important to take precautions to keep them safe:
• Keep the computer in a family room so you can monitor what games they are playing and check they are age appropriate.
• Encourage them to report anyone who asks them to do anything which makes them feel uncomfortable.
• Explain the risks of talking to people they do not know in the real world.
Cyberbullying is the name given to bullying through digital technologies like computers and mobile phones and can be more difficult to spot than ‘traditional’ bullying.
You can help protect your child by:
• Encouraging them to confide in you or another adult about anything that is upsetting them.
• Suggesting they only use moderated chatrooms.
• Turning on in-built internet safety features and installing software to enhance safety.
• Advising them to report any abuse, blocking the offender and keeping a record of any offensive messages.
• Telling them not respond or retaliate to any abuse.
• Ensuring they only share login and password details with parents or trusted adults.