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Tips for staying safe online

Our top tips for staying safe online:

  1. Don’t give out personal information

Never give out any personal information like your address or your phone number. It’s also best to use a nickname instead of your real name where possible.

  1. Never reveal your passwords

Use strong passwords that are hard for others to guess, using a mix of letters and numbers. Keep passwords to yourself and change them regularly.

  1. Upload and share carefully

When you choose a profile picture, avoid photos that could give strangers clues about where you live. Think about what should be shared in public and what shouldn't, and check your privacy settings regularly. Don’t post things that you wouldn't want your parents, teacher or boss to see, as it could get you into trouble.

  1. Be careful who you chat with

If somebody you don’t know adds you as a friend, ignore them and delete their request. You can never be sure that other users are being truthful about their online identities, so it’s good to be aware of this.

  1. Think twice about meeting up

It's not a good idea to arrange to meet up with someone that you've been chatting to online. Remember that you can never be sure that they're telling the truth about their age or their interests, and you could be putting yourself in danger. If you do want to meet up with someone you've met online, make sure that you discuss it with your parents beforehand. If they agree, you should arrange to meet in a public place, and take an adult with you.

  1. Shop wisely

If you shop on the internet, make sure that the company you're buying from uses a secure shopping server. You'll know if it is a secure site if a padlock icon appears at the bottom of your browser window, or the web address begins with 'https:'. If it's a company you've never heard of before, search their site for any contact numbers and postal addresses. Also, make sure that you never send your bank details to anyone in an email. Banks and online stores will never ask you to do this as it is not a secure way of sending information. If you do receive an official-looking email that asks you to send your financial details, you should never reply as you could become a victim of identity fraud.

Further support:

If you're concerned about something that may have happened online, talk to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher or youth worker, or visit the CEOP advice and help centre.

The ThinkuKnow website has all the advice you need.

You can also find out about staying safe when using interactive services online like chat, online games, email and mobiles at Chat Danger and Kidsmart.

The Sorted website aims to give you advice and information on computer security issues in a practical and simple way. The site features all sorts of advice about keeping your information secure online and includes stuff to do with viruses and trojans, spam and phishing, identity theft and file sharing.

Visit the Wirral Safeguarding Children Board website