Making friends We all know it s not healthy to spend hours and hours in front of a computer screen. But another problem with social networking is the pressure you can feel to make sure you have lots of friends. But here are some things to remember:
Friendships made online are made by clicking a button rather than talking to people and sharing experiences. Being online friends with someone is much less meaningful than face to face friendship. You can easily fall out with an online friend because of a misunderstood comment. It is far easier, and healthier, to sort out arguments and problems when you can talk to someone face to face So although you might know someone who likes to boast about how many friends they ve got on their social networking site, remember that real friendships aren t made by computers. Make sure you re old enough to join. Maybe use a made up name or nickname on your profile. Never give out personal information. Do not make friends you don t already know personally.
Maybe use an email address that does not include your name. Always use a strong password. That is, don t use any names or words that someone might guess, like the name of your dog or your favourite singer. Use random letters or numbers and change your password regularly. Use the strongest privacy setting when you set up your profile. This means that only your friends will be able to view your information. Pictures and videos can be shared very easily across the internet, so make sure you are very careful when uploading even if you only share it with friends, it can easily be spread much further than that. Be very careful about sharing content online especially if it isn t yours to share. Illegal downloads are definitely best avoided. Never meet up with anyone you have met online. Make sure you know about the safety features on any networking site. Some, for example, have a panic button which you can press if you see something that shouldn t be there.
If anything happens online that you don t like, tell someone. Why is e-safety important? If used well, the internet is a safe, fun and informative place. But caution is needed because the internet can also be a dangerous place. It s a place where fraud can happen, for example, a place where people can pretend to be someone they re not in order to trick other people (including children), or a place where people can stumble on something they would rather not see. Below are some statistics about children s use of the internet. 11% of 9-16 year olds haveP encountered inappropriate images on the internet Pin the past 12 months (as of Jan. 2014) 13% of UK 9-16 year olds say they have beenP bothered or upset by something online 60% said theyP had been asked for an inappropriate image or video of themselves 40% said theyP had created an image or video of themselves 25% said theyP had sent an image or video of themselves to someone else 23% of 11 and 12 year olds with a social networking site profile say they have beenP upset by something on it 8% of these feltP upset or scared for weeks or months after the incident 20% experienced something thatP upset them every day 62% of these experiences were caused byP strangers 13% of UK 9-16 year olds said they had beenP bothered or upset by something online 33% of UK children aged 9-16 years old haveP encountered inappropriate images or videos on the internet 12% of UK 11-16 year olds haveP received inappropriate messages Pand 4% haveP sent inappropriate messages Hopefully the information above has helped you understand the importance of e-safety.
At home and at school we can work together to help protect the children in our care. The other pages in this e-safety section of the website give some practical ways we can try to make the internet a safer place. Notes 1. All statistics taken from NSPCC webpage,P