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Top tips for staying safe online

  • "ThinkB4UPost" – it sounds like common sense but it's all too easy to come to regret things you write or share online. People can easily misunderstand what you say if you're not careful how you put it.
  • People you meet in chat rooms or on social networks may not be telling the truth – are they really who they say they are? You should never share personal information like your address or phone number or arrange to meet without talking to your parents/carer first.
  • If you want to share something private with someone, ask yourself, "Can I really trust them to keep it private?" Once it's gone, you've lost control.
  • If you're old enough to use a social networking website, get to know how to use the privacy settings. Think carefully before accepting random friend requests. What information do you want to share and with whom? 'Facebook' now asks you to decide each time you post.
  • Cyberbullying is bullying and it hurts. Think twice before you click and send. Have fun but don't offend people. It's easy to forget that jokes don't always work online!
  • Your online "footprint" may be impossible to clear away. What does your "footprint" say about you? Could it come back to haunt you? What about when you're looking for a job or applying for a course?
  • If you're worried about anything online, tell someone you trust – it may help someone else as well as you. You can also use the CEOP button to report abuse.