Fraud, bullying and danger from strangers are not new problems, but mobile devices and the internet can mean they are more hidden and have potentially greater impact. Social networks are great for keeping in touch with friends, getting to know new friends and sharing our lives and ideas, but you need to be aware of the risks.
- Keep your profile private and learn how to use the privacy settings of your network.
- Don’t post key personal details like your address.
- Remember that your photographs may include location data that helps people can track you down.
- Remember content can live on forever online so don’t post something you might regret later.
- Don’t harass others or post things intending to upset them.
- Don’t get involved in bullying or trolling – report and/or block the bully or troll.
- Never upload illegal or offensive content.
- Always password-protected your devices and log out of shared computers so other people cannot access your accounts.
- Be cautious of meeting someone you meet online in real life – they may not be who they appear to be online. Always take an adult with you and tell people where you’re going and who you are meeting.
Think before you press send!
Once things are digital and shared, social media posts, emails, texts, photos and videos can be freely forwarded, copied and manipulated endlessly. Once you have shared something, you have lost control over it and it could continue to exist online even if the original item is deleted.