Tips to stay safe online
There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe online.
- Think before you post - don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.
- Don’t share personal details - keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings. Remember that people can use small clues like a school logo in a photo to find out a lot about you.
- Watch out for phishing and scams - phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving them information, like your password. Someone might also try to trick you by saying they can make you famous or that they’re from a talent agency. Never click links from emails or messages that ask you to log in or share your details, even if you think they might be genuine. If you’re asked to log into a website, go to the app or site directly instead.
- Think about who you’re talking to - there are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school. Find out more about online grooming.
- Keep your device secure - make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure
- Never give out your password - you should never give out your password or log-in information. Make sure you pick strong, easy to remember passwords.
- Cover your webcam - some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it
How to spot fake news
The news you see online or on social media isn’t always going to be accurate. And it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s fake.
Some websites will report fake news or things that aren’t completely true. They might do it because they want to scare you or make you do something. Or because they make money from people going to their site.
Fake news can look real, but there are ways to help you spot it.
- Check the source - check the name of the website and its web address to see if it looks real. Some sites will try to look like other websites so you think they’re genuine.
- Look for evidence - find out whether it’s being reported on other sites that you know and trust. If it’s only being reported on websites you’ve never heard of then it might not be true.
- Don’t decide straight away - sometimes headlines or stories are designed to scare or interest you. Read what’s in the article carefully, ask yourself whether it seems true and why they’re saying it.
- Ask someone you trust - try asking an adult you trust to see what they think. If you’re worried about something you’ve seen online, you can always talk to a Childline counsellor.