You may be new online. Maybe you just got your first cell phone, or you’re finally allowed to go to the Internet cafe. Maybe you’ve just joined Facebook.
There is a whole world out there on the internet but just like in the real world, exploring it can bring benefits and dangers. The Internet offers great things — like meeting new friends, connecting with old ones, information that helps you get a new job and places to express yourself— but in order to take the fullest advantage of it, it’s important to know how to avoid the dangers.
Being safe on the internet means that you’re aware of the dangers that you may face, and know how to handle them. Some risks you could face online include:
Cyberbullying is just like bullying in real life. It includes mean messages on your profile or mean comments on your photos. It can also be someone writing hurtful things on your wall every day. Sharing a mean picture or comment is also bullying and you should try not to.
Exposure to inappropriate materials like pornography or violence.
The internet is a fun place where everybody can express themselves and share their thoughts but not everyone shares things that are appropriate. You could run into images and videos with gruesome violence or explicit sexual images and videos. If these images and videos end up on your wall, you can report the person who posted it and block them as well.
Online predators —in other words, adults who use the Internet to try and connect with children or teens
When you make friends with someone online, there is a chance that they might not be who they say they are. Some adults create teenage profiles so that they can connect with teens to try and meet with them. When you get a friend request or Facebook message from someone who seems dodgy, always check out their profile and see if you have any mutual friends. Be cautious of meeting people in real life who you have met online.
Sharing too much personal or private information, which can put you, your friends and family in danger.
Sharing your thoughts on the internet can be fun but be careful not to share information about you that will help someone find you in real life. This could put you or your family in danger. Do not share your personal phone number, or home address and be careful when sharing your location. This also goes for the phone numbers and addresses of your family and friends.
Remember, the internet can open up a new world for you but not without any risks.