Not what it seems

Are you tech savvy?

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You can do just about anything you need to online; travel, shop, make friends, lose friends, share life, hear all the up-to-date gossip, study, learn, play and the list goes on. The Internet is powerful but in the words of Spiderman “with great power comes great responsibility” and this is so true of the Internet!

While embracing the Good & the Great that the online world has to offer we need to be really aware that the online world can also be Bad & Ugly!

Do you use the Internet for any of the following?

  • Use search engines like Google or Yahoo?
  • Use Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, Facebook to share pictures?
  • Use social network sites like Facebook or Twitter?
  • Meet and chat to people in chat rooms, forums and on messaging apps?
  • Use Xbox, Playstation, or games sites to game online?

Do you know the risks? Do you feel that you are savvy to the dangers?

Staying Safe?

Not everyone is who they say they are!

That can be hard when you feel like you are connecting with someone and they seem to ‘get you’ and how you are feeling. However, they could be anyone.

So if you decide you want to meet someone offline you met online – take someone with you like your mum or a friend. Don’t go alone – what if they aren’t who they say they are or they don’t come alone. Don’t be left feeling uncomfortable or unsafe.

Advice from a young person “Have credit on your phone and keep your phone on you and check in with someone regularly”

Think before you share images or information!

It is easy to get caught in the moment but whatever you share online will leave a digital footprint. Are you sharing things you’d be mortified if your granny saw? Then don’t share it! The minute you press upload or send you lose control of what happens to it – don’t risk it!

“Live Real, Play Virtual” (Breck Foundation)

The online gaming world is a whole other world of fun and enjoyment or it is meant to be! It’s not ok for people to be nasty or give you hassle. If someone is being unfriendly or making you feel uncomfortable – block them or mute them. It is NOT OK and not your fault! Be careful about information sharing – use nicknames. Just like any other online setting people might be friendly but they could be anyone and not everyone’s motives are good! Enjoy, have fun, but know the difference between the real world and the virtual world.

Cyberbullying, Online Hate & Trolling – the UGLY!

If you have met someone online, face to face or someone is putting pressure on you to have sex or making you feel uncomfortable you can report this to CEOP on their website – www.ceop.police.uk/safety-centre or if you are in immediate danger call 999.