Internet survey facts...
Are you fed up of being lectured by teachers and carers about using the internet safely? OK - fair enough! Here's some straight facts from a survey of 200 Leicestershire teenagers who all that they usually used the internet in their bedroom.
18 told us that they like to meet new people using a live camera
That may be safe enough. But 32 of them also said they visited a website that is known to be used by perverts to meet and groom children and young people. Be aware that people you meet online may be dangerous and abusive.
28 had over 1,000 friends on their profile
It's great to have online friends but people may think it looks a bit desperate to have as many as that! We reckon it's cool to have up to 500 (at most) and to make sure you actually know who they are.
120 had posted personal details on their profile
Have you ever thought that people can use random bits of personal information on your profile to do a 'google' search and find out lots more - like where you live and where you might be at certain times. It's well worth thinking carefully about what you put on the internet every time you post and who can see it.
42 had met face to face with someone they only knew before as an online contact
Always remember how you first met someone (online or in real life), online contacts could be out and out liars and you'd never know. 15 of these young people didn't take anyone with them when meeting up and 6 told us that the person they met had lied about who they were!
84 had been threatened, insulted or harassed online
The best advice - never reply to cyber-bullies and keep a copy of the post for evidence. For more advice about how to deal with cyber-bullying, go to the bullying page on our website.
18 had either sent or received a self-taken naked picture
These pictures can never be taken back - they could be out there for ever! The Police don't like to give young people a criminal record but sending indecent pictures of under 18s is a criminal offence. Sometimes young people are persuaded or blackmailed into doing it. You need to tell someone if this ever happens to you.
The internet is great and using a bit of good sense will help to keep you safe. These are our best tips...
Top e-safety tips
- "ThinkB4UPost" – it sounds like common sense but it's too easy to regret what you've written or shared online. People can easily misunderstand things you say if you're not really careful how you put it.
- People you meet in chat rooms or on social media 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 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 social media, get to know how to use the privacy settings. Think carefully before accepting friend requests. What information do you want to share and with whom?
- 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? People often do searches to find out more about you.
- 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.
You can find more great tips and advice on the 'Thinkuknow' website.