The internet is a great place to play games, chat with friends and find interesting fun stuff. You may spend a lot of time online, so it’s important to have fun whilst also being safe, sensible and respectful to others too. Here’s our guide to being smart about who you meet and what you do online.
Top tips for staying safe online
- It’s fine to chat to people online, but don’t tell them where you live, which school you go to or give out your phone number. They could be lying and might not be who they say they are, even if you chat with them a lot or consider them an online friend.
- It’s also important that you don’t meet up with people you’ve met online in real life. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do.
- Don’t send pictures to people you don’t know. You don’t want strangers looking at photos of you, your friends or your family. Also, remember that once you’ve posted a picture of yourself online most people can see it and may be able to download it; it’s not just yours anymore.
- Keep your privacy settings as high as possible and never give out your passwords.
- Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
- The internet is just like the real world – nice people use the internet, but some nasty people do too. If someone is making you feel upset or angry, most online games and social sites will let you block them. You could ask an adult to help you do this.
- If you get any nasty messages, don’t reply to them as this may make things worse.
- It’s important that you are nice and kind when you use the computer to talk to people. If you don’t agree with someone else’s views it doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
- Be respectful of your friends on social media. Don’t post photos of them they might find embarrassing without asking first – and take them down straight away if someone asks you to. Try to be mindful of how your posts will make people feel before you put them up.
- The internet is a fantastic place for all sorts of things but remember there’s a whole world away from the screen! If you’re spending a lot of time online and even thinking about it when you’re offline then maybe it’s time to back off a bit.
The internet can be fun, creative and social, but don’t miss out on other fun stuff like hanging out with your real friends.
If you’re worried about something
If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried: leave the website, turn off your computer if you want to and tell a trusted adult immediately. Tell a grown up if you feel scared or unhappy about anything. You can also call Childline on 08001111 or visit childline.org.uk to talk to someone who can help.
If you’re being bullied online
It’s a good idea to save any nasty messages you receive so you can show an adult you trust. You can also visit bullying.co.uk – this is a website where trained counsellors can support you if you are being bullied, either by chatting online or by calling their free helpline. You can also find some top tips on how to stay safe.
Other websites with good ideas
Stampy talks about griefing on Minecraft and gives some good tips! Plus more videos and games: bbc.co.uk/cbbc
Get advice for all sorts of things that people your age might have to deal with online: thinkuknow.co.uk
Can you win the internet? Take the quiz to see how well you do! bbc.co.uk/cbbc/quizzes