Safe Surfing

You may be street-wise but are you web-wise?

Safe surfing

You are in control of what you view on-line but it’s best to be cautious.

To make sure you are web-wise, remember:

  • Websites aren’t always what they seem - be careful what you click on.
  • Don’t open emails or attachments from people you don’t know - they could contain viruses or unpleasant messages.
  • Webcams can be really handy and a lot of fun but they can also be used in the wrong way. Using them just to talk to friends and family is the safest option.
  • If you feel someone is bullying you on-line, or behaving strangely on a website, contact the site administrator. If someone you have only had contact with on-line wants to meet in person, tell an adult that you trust.

Chatrooms

  • It's easy to remain anonymous on the web and this can encourage some people to make up things up about themselves, even passing off someone else's face as their own.
  • People on-line are not always what they seem - you’re safer if you only chat to people you know in the real world
  • Remember to keep your personal information private and learn how to block people you don’t know from chatting and instant messaging you
  • It’s difficult to judge if someone is genuine, especially as you cannot see the person. This is why you should be cautious and not give too much away about yourself, family or friends.
  • Your instincts will help you decide whether what another person is saying is odd or not quite right – this is your self-defence, telling you something is wrong. It is important to trust these instincts and let your parent or guardian know when you think something is wrong.
  • Instinct works best when you can see or hear a person, but obviously when talking to someone on the web it is not possible to do this so it is important to be even more alert.
  • Anything you post on the internet becomes public information and could remain that way forever. A laugh and a joke now could cost you in the future so be careful what you say or post on-line; test yourself by asking- "Would I want my mum/teacher/stranger on the bus to see this?" If the answer’s no, don’t post it.

Here are six useful tips to help you become web-wise:

  • Don't give out personal details, photographs, or any other information that could be used to identify you, such as your address, your school or information about your family.
  • Don't take other people at face value - they may not be what they seem.
  • Never arrange to meet someone you've only ever previously met on the Internet without first telling your parents, getting their permission and taking a responsible adult with you.
  • Always stay in public areas of a chat room and where there are other people around.
  • Don't open an attachment or download a file unless you know and trust the person who has sent it.
  • Never respond directly to anything you find disturbing - save or print it, log off and tell an adult.

Remember, you’re in control in a chat room - you don’t have to talk to anyone you don’t want to.

Some useful web sites to help you

www.Thinkuknow.co.uk
The website has been designed to help young people stay safe whilst surfing the Internet. This interactive site uses games and animation to guide young people through all the safety aspects of using the Internet.

www.Chatdanger.com
A site all about the potential dangers on interactive services online like chat, IM, online games, email and on mobiles. Click on the icons below to read TRUE STORIES and find out how to chat SAFELY.

www.Getnetwise.org
Learn about the risks you face online, Search or browse for Internet safety products, browse great sites families can visit together, and learn how to identify online trouble and get law enforcement contact information.