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Information, tips and advice

This page contains some information, tips and advice about staying safe online and protecting yourself.

Safe surfing

Surfing the Net can be great fun, but here are some easy rules to remember that will keep you safe while you surf:

  • Don't give out your personal information - Don't put personal details such as your home address, telephone numbers, email address, school name
  • What goes online, stays online - Use privacy settings to make sure only your friends and family can see photos you post
  • Check your security and privacy settings - Make sure your social network privacy settings are secured so only your friends can see your personal information and use your privacy settings to restrict who can see your posts, videos and photos
  • Password safety - Keep your Internet passwords private and change them often. Use a hard to guess password with both CAPITAL and small letters numbers and other symbols such as: @ # ,. &.
  • Don't talk to strangers online- Only talk to people you actually know.  Do not become friends with strangers online.  Be careful making friends with people who claim to know your friends - check that somebody else knows them well before adding them to your social network.
  • Never agree to meet someone that you have met on the Internet.
  • Be wary of unsecured or unknown websites - When shopping online, use reputable and known retailers, make sure any transactions you make only take place across secure web pages which you can identify from the padlock sign in your browser address bar and where the address says https.
  • Use bookmarks to access your favourite websites and, if you know the web address, type it into the box at the top of the page rather than using a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. When searching for a site on Google take time to look at the website results.  The first site that comes up may not be the site you are looking for.  Some websites may not be genuine but may have a very similar address.
  • Be careful what links you click on - Avoid clicking links in an email, Instant Message or on your social network unless you are sure the message is from someone you know.
  • If you enter a site or receive information that makes you feel uncomfortable, tell someone you trust.
  • Always protect your mobile device - Make sure your mobile phone is pin-protected so all your personal information stored on it is safe. Download a security app which allows you to remotely wipe any personal data, should your mobile be lost or stolen

Strangers online

Learn some common tricks of online predators

Only talk to people you actually know.  Do not become friends with strangers online.  Be careful making friends with people who claim to know your friends - check that somebody else knows them well before adding them to your social network.

Stay 'SMART'

Safe - Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information such as your name, email, phone number, home address, or school name - to people who you don't know or trust online.

Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents' or carers' permission and even then only when they can be present.

Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don't know or trust can lead to problems - they may contain viruses or nasty messages.

Reliable. Someone online may be lying about who they are, and information you find on the Internet may not be reliable.

Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried. You can report online abuse to the police at Think you know.

Help us improve Safeguarding Children in Gloucestershire

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.