This week’s article is taken from the excellent Think u Know website: https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/8_10/
I would highly recommend that both children and parents take some time to visit this site and explore how to be safe (and have fun) when using the internet across a range of platforms.
Read the article below (or the website). Your responses could include what you have learned, anything you would now do differently based on what you have read, or any advice you would give to others.
Social networking sites are all online, so any information you add about yourself can be seen by anyone in the world.
If you put too much information about yourself online, people you don’t know may be able to find you. When Ali creates her online profile in the Cyber Café she includes all the right information – and you should use her example as a guide to what you should do.
• NEVER PUT YOUR FULL ADDRESS ON YOUR SITE. It’s best to leave the space blank, or if you do want to add some information, make sure that you make your profile private so only your friends can see it.
• It’s a good idea to USE A NICKNAME rather than your real name – your friends will know your nickname so will know it’s you!
• It’s a good idea to PUT YOUR REAL AGE on your site – if you lie and say you are older, you may get adults trying to contact you.
• It’s also NOT A GOOD IDEA TO PUT YOUR MOBILE NUMBER on your site – your real friends will already have it!
• USE YOUR PRIVACY SETTINGS! Adjust your account settings (sometimes called “Privacy Settings”) so only approved friends can instant message you. This won’t ruin your social life – new people can still send you friend requests and message you, they just won’t be able to pester you via IM. This means that people you don’t want to see your profile can’t!
Anything you add to your social networking site can be copied or printed, so if you want to put pictures up on your site think before you do it. Remember that your site may be seen by strangers and once a picture is online, it’s online forever. It may be safer to use cartoons instead of pictures – that way you can still make your site fun, but no one will see your picture! If you set up a social networking site, make sure that you make it private so only your friends can see it. That way you can stop strangers from seeing all your information.
Some people who you don’t know in the real world may try and ask to be your friend, so they can see your site. It’s not a good idea to allow a stranger to have access to your site – they may not be who they say they are and you don’t want a stranger knowing lots of things about you! If someone you don’t know asks to be your friend, tell a trusted adult straight away.