Quick Exit

Online safety

Being online can feel just like being in the real world - you can chat, play games and share pictures.

social media icons on a mobile phone screen

But how can you stay safe online? +

  • Don't post any personal information online such as your address, email or mobile number. Don't tell people your last name, the name of your school, sports teams, the town you live in and where you hang out.
  • Please think carefully before posting pictures or videos of yourself; chances are they'll remain there forever! Avoid posting photos that let people identify you, especially images of yourself which could be considered sexual. Before uploading a photo, think about how you'd feel if a family member saw it. If you wouldn't want any of those people to see the image – then don't post it for the world to see.
  • Keep your privacy settings as high as possible. You should only accept people you know and trust as friends. Remember - people may pretend to be younger than they are to try and make friends with you.
  • Never give out your passwords. Don't pick obvious passwords - like your pet's name, your best friend or favourite pop star or group.
  • Don't make friends with people you don't know.
  • Cover your webcam when you're not using it. Some viruses can give access to your webcam without you knowing.
  • Never meet someone you meet online if you haven't met them face to face before. If you've only met the person on the internet, then how can you know them? Online, people can pretend to be anyone and any age. Speak to your parent or carer about people suggesting you do this.
  • Respect other people's views, even if you disagree. Having differences of opinion doesn't mean you need to be rude.
  • If you see something online, that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave the website and turn off your computer. When this happens, it's always best to confide in a trusted adult. 
  • Be honest about your age - membership rules are there to protect you. If you're too young to sign up, don't lie about your age.
  • Watch out for phishing and scams. Phishing is when someone tries to trick you into giving information, such as your password. 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. 

How to report concerns +

  • If someone you're talking to online does or says something that makes you feel upset, worried, or uncomfortable, you need to report it. Especially if you've been asked to do things that you don't want to. If this happens, you must remember that it's not your fault.
  • Don't worry about being in trouble – you're not the one who has done anything wrong.
  • Always tell a trusted adult. And if you can, save the messages that have upset you to show to the trusted adult.

You can also report online abuse to Child Exploitation and Online Protection.

CEOP website

The CEOP website includes answers to questions such as:

  • Should I make a report to CEOP?
  • What happens when I make a report?
  • How can CEOP Help Me?

To report online material that promotes terrorism or extremism, visit GOV.UK.

Report Terrorism

Further support and advice +

Report online abuse

quotation mark open Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? quotation mark close

Make a report - CEOP Safety Centre