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Use the web safely

Being online and using the internet can feel just like being in the real world - you can chat to people, play games and share pictures.

There are some great people on the internet, but there are also some people who use the internet for the wrong reasons, or who have bad intentions towards children and young people.

For example, some people may pretend to be much younger than they really are in order to talk to you and make friends with you. They might start off by being nice to you, but then say nasty things to you, or talking about things that make you feel uncomfortable or out of your depth, or they may even ask you to do things that you don’t want to do.

This is not acceptable. If this is happening to you or to someone you know, please see the information at the bottom of this page about what to do and where to get help.

How can I keep safe on the internet?
When you are chatting online, avoid giving personal details that could help a stranger to find you. Don't tell people your last name, the name of your school, sports teams, the town you live in and where you hang out.

Protect your information
Check to see if the site has a friends list that allows you to control who can see the information on your profile or blog. If it does, you should only accept people you know and trust as friends. If you don't use these privacy settings, then anyone can see your details, including people with bad intentions. Remember - people may pretend to be younger than they really are in order to try and make friends with you.

Don't arrange to meet up with people
Never get together with someone you meet online or on a blog if you have never met them in “the real world”. If you have only met them in the “internet world” then you don’t know who they really are and people can claim to be anyone and any age, online.

Think before you put any pictures online
What's uploaded to the internet can be downloaded by anyone and passed around or posted online pretty much forever. Avoid posting photos that allow people to identify you (for example, when they're searching for your high school.) You should particularly avoid posting images of yourself which are sexually suggestive.

Before uploading a photo, think about how you would feel if it was seen by a parent or grandparent, a friend’s parent, a teacher or future employer. If you wouldn’t want any of those people to see this photo – then don’t put it on the internet for the world to see.

What is Revenge Porn?
Revenge Porn is the sharing of private, sexual materials, either photos or videos, of another person, without their consent and with the purpose of causing distress.
The offence applies both online and offline and to images which are shared electronically or in a more traditional way so includes the uploading of images on the internet, sharing by text and e-mail, or showing someone a physical or electronic image.

Be aware b4 you share
Visit the Facebook campaign page to find out more about Ministry of Justice’s campaign to raise awareness of Revenge Porn and discourage people from sharing such images. If you are using Twitter, please look out for #NoToRevengePorn and retweet.

Check comments on your profile regularly
If you allow people on your profile or blog, check them often so you can delete any comments you don't like. Don't respond to mean or embarrassing comments. If possible, block offensive people from commenting further. See the section below on ‘How to report concerns’

Be honest about your age
Membership rules are there to protect you. If you are too young to sign up, do not lie about your age. Talk with your parents about other sites that may be more suited to your age group.

How to report concerns
If someone you are talking to online does or says something that makes you feel upset, worried or uncomfortable, if someone is asking you to do things that you don’t want to, or if you see something that you don’t like, then you need to do something about it.

If this happens, you must remember that it’s not your fault.

  • Always tell an adult – this might be a parent or carer, a teacher, a youth worker or another adult that you feel you can trust.
  • Save any messages that have upset you so that you can show the person who you tell. They should be able to give you advice about what to do. Don’t worry about being in trouble – you are not the one who has done anything wrong
  • If you don’t feel that you can tell an adult that you know, then there are other people that can help you.

A list of apps currently being linked to child sexual exploitation are attached below.

For further information, advice and support visit the Governments CEOPS website (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) where there is lots of useful information for you, and provides you with a way to report what is happening to you. The link is

You can also follow the link to the Child Line website where you can access advice and support

You can also contact national help lines:-

NSPCC Helpline - 0808 800 5000

Child line 0800 1111

In an emergency, you can dial 999 and ask for the police.

You should only call 999 in an emergency, for example, if you are in immediate danger and need help straight away because someone is hurting you, or going to hurt you.

ChildLine has launched an app designed to provide tools to defuse the pressures on young people to send an explicit image or video. Called ‘Zipit’, the free app offers witty images to send instead of explicit ones, advice for how to engage in safe chat, what to do if you feel threatened or if an image becomes public, and a direct link to call ChildLine.

If someone’s tries to send naked images youngsters can use the images on Zipit to keep the situation in control.  Zipit helps to get flirty chat back on the right track. It's packed with killer comebacks and top tips to help teenagers stay in control of the chat game.

Users can:-

  •  Save images onto their device and share them with friends.
  •  Share images on Facebook, Twitter, BBM or via email.
  •  Find out how to deal with a sexting crisis.
  •  Get advice on how to flirt without failing.
  •  Call ChildLine or save the number to a mobile phone.
  •  Images can also be shared from Zipit through other apps like Whatsapp or Instagram, depending on the type of phone and what apps are downloaded.
  • Zipit is free to download, but if images are sent as a text with a picture (through MMS or Multimedia Message Service) there will be a charge by your mobile provider.

Please click the following link to find out more.

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