The Internet is an invaluable resource for students who use it in a responsible and mature way. It aids learning and communication and should be used to enrich and extend learning activities.
However there are dangers to using the Internet and students need to be aware of these in order to protect themselves.
The most important thing to remember, if anything is worrying you online or on your phone, is to tell a trusted adult (a parent or teacher). Don't be afraid or embarrassed, just tell someone immediately.
Here are some of the most important things to keep in mind when you use the internet and your mobile phone, including some useful links below to help you stay safe.
Staying safe online
- Don’t post any personal information online – like your address, email address or mobile phone number.
- Think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself. Once you have posted a picture of yourself online people can see it and download it, it’s not just yours anymore.
- Keep your privacy settings on social media accounts as high as you possibly can.
- Never give out your passwords.
- Do not befriend people you don’t know.
- Do not accept friends or follow requests from people you don't know.
- Don’t meet up with people you’ve met online - speak to a trusted adult about anyone who suggest you do.
- Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are.
- Think carefully about what you say before you post something online.
- Respect other people’s views, even if you don’t agree with someone else’s views, it doesn’t mean you need to be rude.
- If you see something online that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or worried; leave the website, and tell a trusted adult immediately.
Staying safe on your mobile
- Do not reply to any nasty messages you receive - tell an adult about them instead.
- Do not reply to a text from someone you don’t know.
- Keep the messages you have been sent so you can show them to a trusted adult and make a note of the time and date of the messages or calls you receive.
- Don’t answer calls from withheld numbers or numbers you don’t recognise - let it go to voicemail.
- Don’t give your mobile number to someone you don’t know.
- Don’t send pictures to someone you don’t know and be very careful about sending pictures to anyone on your phone.
What to do if you are being bullied online
- Tell an adult you trust if you are being cyber bullied.
- Don’t respond or retaliate to bullying messages - it could make things worse.
- Block users who send you nasty messages (if you need advice on how to block people on various social media websites, use the documents below).
- Save any abusive emails or texts you receive and show an adult.
- Don’t pass on any cyber bullying videos or messages – this is cyber bullying (Take the BBC quiz 'Are you an accidental cyberbully?').
- You can talk to someone at Child Line or get online safety advice at www.childline.org.uk/talk/Pages/Talk.aspx
An array of SWGfL Online Safety resources, services and tools are available.