During coronavirus a lot of young people have been using social media and the internet more than usual.
Here are 6 tips to help you stay safe online:
While you’re at home try not to spend all your time online. Keeping in touch with friends through social media is great and the internet can help you learn so many new things. But if you find yourself spending most of your time in front of a screen or checking your phone all the time, try to take a break. Sometimes just putting your phone or ipad in another room can help.
Think before you post: Remember that every time you go online you leave a ‘digital footprint’, making it easy for people to find out personal info about you. Before you post something, ask yourself – would you be happy for teachers, your parents or people you don’t know to see it? Would you be happy for it to still be online in 10 years time?
Never meet up with someone you only know online, and be careful what you tell them: At the moment everybody is supposed to stay inside as much as possible. So don’t agree to meet anybody even if you have had nice chats with a stranger online, remember they might not be who they say they are. If they start asking you for personal info like where you live or what your phone number is, stop contact and tell an adult you trust.
Don’t worry about other people’s ‘perfect’ lives: Remember that people often only share the moments they want people to see. It’s not always the same as real life. During the coronavirus, you might see people posting about all the school work they are doing or the fun they are having with their families which might make you feel down or anxious. Try not to check your social media as much if you start to feel like this.
Protect yourself: Keep your password secret and don’t let anyone else use your account. Don’t share your phone number or address online. Check your privacy settings on your social media and make sure only friends can see your posts.
To find out more about staying safe online and to get tips on using screentime in a positive way, check out MindYerTime which was made by children and young people from the Children’s Parliament and Scottish Youth Parliament. Young Scot’s Digi, Aye? and Childline also have good advice.