The internet is an interesting place. You can learn a lot with it, keep in contact with friends and family, and even speak to people from all around the world. Whilst it can be beneficial and fun, social media does come with a few downsides, which could lead you into dangerous situations with lasting effects.
To help you stay safe online, just follow these 3 simple rules.
1. Know how and when to block/report somebody
It’s important to know what to do when someone is bugging you on social media. Blocking them is one of the most effective ways to stop them contacting you. It’s usually pretty easy to block a user – just head over to their profile and there should be a ‘Block’ button.
This is normally quite easy to spot, as most apps and websites are aware of online dangers. Just know that the power is in your hands! So if someone is causing you trouble, or making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, then the best thing you can do is block and/or report them.
2. Never share personal information
The problem with the internet is it’s way too easy to pretend to be someone you’re not. It’s difficult to trust someone you meet via the internet, as you can never actually know if they’re who they say they are. Although it’s incredibly risky making friendships online, always make sure a parent is aware of the person you’re talking to.
Make sure you bring an adult with you if you ever arrange to meet your friend, and ensure you meet in a public place; don’t let them convince you otherwise. And don’t share personal information online, such as your phone number or address, and where or when you’re going somewhere.
3. Always use secure passwords
It won’t be fun getting hacked. To prevent this, you can set complex and personal passwords that even smart hackers couldn’t guess (a lot of them can be very clever and can guess your password from information you share online).
Also, don’t use the same password for multiple accounts. That way it’s harder for hackers to access all your accounts when they’ve managed to get into one.