What tips do you give kids for staying safe online?
What do you (or should you) remind children to do and not do, while online?
2 experts and 1 parent have answered
If you’re going skateboarding, you get dressed up with all the protective gear. So why not get protected when you go online. Here are KOKO’s latest tips for staying safe online.
1. Protect your Passwords
- If anyone gets hold of your password he/she could pretend to be you, destroy your online work and get you into trouble.
- Don’t share with your Bestie! If your best friend, boyfriend or girlfriend wants to share passwords with you, just say “No”! You might break up one day and have an angry or mischievous friend who can destroy all your online stuff.
- Use strong passwords or pass phrases that you can remember, but others can’t guess. Use capitals, numbers and symbols, for example: M@nUr7hebe5t (Man U are the best) or Iluvm1c@tm0!!y (I love my cat Molly)
2. Take Control of your Privacy
- Don’t share any private information about yourself, or anyone else that might cause embarrassment or upset. Think about how you or someone else might feel if the information was passed around online.
- You don’t want every stranger on your social media sites to see where you live, your age, your friends, so check each site’s Privacy Settings and control what you’re giving away.
- You don’t want someone nasty stalking you, so be careful of using location sites and services that tell people where you are right now.
3. Filter Your Friends
- Don’t use usernames that might attract nasty people or give them clues about your age. So avoid names like sexy13yo.
- Watch out for nasty people trying to be friends. Check out their profiles. If they look dodgy, then refuse the friend request and block them if you can.
- If you think you have someone you don’t like or don’t trust on your friends list, just de-friend or block them. Don’t tell them you did it.
4. Take Care if Meeting up
- Probably the most dangerous thing that can happen is if you meet an online “Friend” and find out he/she is not who you thought, but is a nasty person who is out to hurt you.
- So you need to treat real-life friends that you know and trust and can safely meet, differently from those friends that you only know online.
- If an online-only friend asks to meet up, ask your parent, carer or teacher to help you make sure they really are genuine. Then, if you decide it’s safe to meet ALWAYS take a trusted adult with you.
5. Just be Nice
- Being over critical or downright nasty to people online is bullying and it can lead to you being bullied back. So treat others, as you would like to be treated yourself.
- Don’t argue with anyone online. You could create a firestorm of abuse.
- Keep your language appropriate and be kind online and people will usually be kind back to you.
6. Beat the Bullies
- If you get bullied online, the first thing to do is to tell your parents, carers or teachers. Show them what the bully said to you and ask them how to deal with it.
- Don’t respond to the bullying messages. That will encourage the bully.
- Save screen shots of the nasty content he/she sends, so if your parent, carer or teacher confronts the bully he can’t say he didn’t do it. Remember that bullying is against the law and what most bullies don’t know is that anyone over 10 years old can be prosecuted for it. (Protection from Harassment Act 1997)
7. Stop the Sex Pests
- Groomers are nasty older teens and adults who try to trick children and teens into doing sexual things they don’t want to do.
- They often start out being very friendly and interested in you. They try to make you trust them and create confidentiality between you and them. They might offer you gifts or money. They might tell you to keep your friendship secret and not tell your parents.
- Then they might ask you to do something sexual or bad and threaten to tell your parents or teacher if you don’t do it.
- So if you think one of your online friends might be a groomer, tell your parent, carer or teacher and they can report the groomer to the police.
8. Say No to the Nasty Stuff
- You might, by accident, stumble into a website with pictures or videos that are violent, sexual or offensive. Then the site will be in your browser history and on a list at your Internet Service Provider and you might be in trouble.
- If you do come across any unsuitable stuff, it’s best to tell you parent, carer or teacher, so they understand it was an accidental visit and they can clear it from the computer.
- Be careful not to upload any images, videos or audio content that might be unsuitable.
9. Resist the Rip-offs
- There are lots of people on the Web who want to take your money (or your parent’s money) from you. Some for good reasons, but some are cheats.
- So don’t get ripped off. A game or an App might be very cheap or even free, but you might be pressured into spending money once you’re playing the game or using the App.
- Never use your parent’s credit card without their permission. Show them exactly what you’re spending money on.
10. Beware of Malware
- Some websites are out to take control of your laptop, tablet or phone. You might visit the site and click for a free download of something nice – an avatar, an image, a free eBook – but you could be downloading Spyware that sends back all your personal information, or your passwords. They sometimes try to steal credit card numbers from adults’ computers.
- Websites and emails may have a link, which when you click, downloads a virus that can damage your computer, tablet or phone or that sends you to porn sites or sends loads of spam emails.
- So think before you click to visit a website, download some goodies, or before you click a link in an email. Don’t click if it looks suspicious.
FINALLY! If it Goes Wrong – Get Help!
If you come across something nasty online or someone/something upsets you, or if you have any worries at all, then tell a trusted adult – your parents, carers or a teacher. They can help.
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I show them videos like this, then we have some really interesting discussions...
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