Through our delivery of The Social Switch Project in partnership Redthread and funded by Google.org, we have been training frontline professionals working with young people, to deal with challenges of online behaviour. For Safer Internet Day 2020, we have collated some of these tips for keeping young people safe online to create printable posters for anyone working with young people as well as parents and carers.
Social media is all about sharing. While it’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and family, these platforms can cause problems. We’ve all seen people get into trouble because of dodgy tweets, an unwise video or an inappropriate picture- but by following these simple tips you can ensure you’re using social media safely.
- Photos: Take care when you share photos! There are laws governing the sharing of images. You can find image sharing guidance for young people on the government’s website.
- Privacy: Check your privacy settings are high. Make sure only friends and family have access to your profile. Keep the personal chat personal! Use direct messaging rather than public posts.
- People: Remember that not everyone is who they say they are – so don’t accept or send friend requests for people you don’t actually know! Never meet up with someone you have only met online. Discuss it with friends and family to decide together on the best course of action.
- Posts: Share with care. Pause for thought before you post anything. Could it offend or upset anyone? Would you be happy for someone you respect to read it? Remember that once you put something out there, you are not in control of it any more. Even if you remove it yourself, it could have been shared many times by other people.
- Personal information: Give away as little personal information as possible across your accounts. The more information you put out there, the more vulnerable you are to identity theft or approaches from potential fraudsters or abusers. Don’t share your phone number, school details or home address. Think about using a nickname for your accounts, if you don’t already
If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable or scared, tell a trusted adult immediately. You can also report your concerns to Child Exploitation and Online Protection command (CEOP) or talk to Childline. You can find out more at: www.saferinternet.org.uk