Stay Safe

Loads of people enjoying access the Internet, but it's worth remembering to keep safe while in cyberspace.You might know loads about the Internet but it's worth bearing a few things in mind.

Many of us now have access to a computer at home and it's important to think about what kind of information you give out, and keep to yourself in what you say and do.

Never give out any personal information such as your home address, phone number, or school to anyone you talk to online, even if you are offered free samples, gifts or information.

If you have your own website, remember that these are public sites and anyone can see them. Always think carefully about what you put on your site, especially photos. Instead of putting up a picture of yourself you could draw an image, or upload something a bit abstract to protect your identity.

Other people who contact you may not be who they say they are. Anyone can say that they share your interests and are the same age...but not everyone is as they seem.

Never arrange a face-to-face meeting on your own with anyone you've met on the Internet. If they want to meet you, tell your parents/guardians and friends. If you still decide to go ahead and meet up, choose a busy public place and take someone with you.

Don't respond to threatening or obscene messages. No matter how irritating or rude they are - ignore them online, and tell your parents/guardians.

Be careful if you receive an email message from someone you don't know. It could contain a virus at the very least, which can mess up your computer.

If you come across an offensive website, it is really important that you report this. Tell your parent/guardian or contact the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF). If you have found something offensive on a website make a note of its address and report it; if it's a newsgroup article take details of the sender and server provider; if it's an email message, note who sent it and its content. Taking action like this helps to make sure that the web is safe and enjoyable for us all.