REMEMBER that the Internet is a public place - you have to be careful who you trust out there!
E-mailing, surfing the net and chatrooms can be fun, however you need to be aware of the following:
Surfing the web
- Be careful about sites that ask for lots of personal details, you never know where that information goes.
- Be aware that the people you're talking to might not be who they say they are.
- Remember that you're in control. If someone starts talking to you about things like sex or anything else that makes you feel uncomfortable, all you have to do to end the conversation is log out. Then let an adult know what's happened.
- Always use a nickname instead of your real name. For example, instead of 'Mark_Smith', choose something unusual like "Sk8King_21".
- If you see anything on a website that upsets you, turn off the screen and tell an adult you trust
- Avoid opening pop-ups as much as possible.
- You might think you've some really cool friends in chat rooms or through IM, but how can you be sure who you are talking to?
- A person may appear friendly and trustworthy but they may not be.
- If you haven't met them in real life in controlled and safe circumstances with trusted adults you need to remember that they're a stranger. 'Stranger Danger' still applies.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) and Facebook have jointly created an application which enables users to access advice and guidance and report concerns directly to CEOP.
What is grooming?
It is when an adult gradually gets to know a young person by pretending they are safe and friendly, when in fact they plan to abuse the young person or try to have sex with them. Grooming is a criminal offence.
Who are these people?
- Adults who may pretend to be a young person and who make contact with you via a mobile phone or in internet chat rooms.
- Adults who want to know lots of details about you and who want to meet you.
- Adults who may claim that they love you.
- Adults whose intention is to have sex with you.
- The people who sexually abuse children and young people are not always strangers: they can be friends, family, members or other apparently trusted adults. They may go out of their way to be friendly and to get you to trust them; this makes it easier for them to hurt you without risking arrest
Things not to do
- Never give out personal bank information or details.
- Never arrange to meet with people alone - always take a friend or trusted adult and always arrange to meet in a public place.
- Never send anyone pictures of yourself without first checking with your parents or guardians/carers
- Never engage in sexual talk.
- Never go into adult chat rooms.
- Never use a web cam without telling an adult you trust.