How to Stay Safe Online?

Do you really know who you’re talking to online?

It’s great to be able to chat to your friends online but it’s important to keep safe.

Some people use the internet to trick, pressure or force children and young people into sex or post pictures of themselves. They use sites and apps to get at children and young people who use sites or apps to chat, game or keep up with news.

When online, it is easy for others to pretend to be someone when they are not.

What are the warning signs?

Here are some warning signs they could be an abuser:

  • They share all of your interests and give you lots of attention
  • They make you feel good about pictures on your profile
  • They talk about sex and send explicit pictures or videos
  • They ask you to send them explicit pictures. Remember, if you send one they could threaten to share it with your friends or family if you don’t do what they want
  • They ask to talk to you in private using an app or ask for your phone number
  • They ask you to keep your chats secret
  • They tell you their webcam is broken. Remember, it’s easy to record and fake a webcam video

How can I keep safe?

  • Never use your real name online
  • Don’t share personal information like your phone number, address, school / college or places where you hang out
  • Don’t use a sexy username or post sexy pictures on your profile
  • Keep your profiles private and be careful who you add as a friend
  • Block people who only want to talk about sex
  • If they say they know your friends, check this out
  • Don’t send pictures you wouldn’t show your friends or family
  • Don’t do anything embarrassing on webcam. Remember, it’s illegal to take or share erotic images of anyone under 18, even if you’re the person in the picture
  • Listen to your gut feelings. If something feels wrong, end the conversation and tell someone you trust

If you haven’t met someone in real life, how can you be sure who you’re chatting to?

If you do decide to meet with someone :

  • Always meet in an area you know and stay in a busy public place
  • Take a trusted and responsible adult with you, not a friend. If the person you’re meeting isn’t being honest, taking a friend will put you both at risk
  • Make sure a friend or family member knows who you are meeting, where you are going, what his / her phone number is and when you’ll be back
  • Listen to your gut feelings. If something feels wrong, stay in a busy public place and call someone you trust. If you are worried that you may be in danger, phone the Police on 631212
  • Don’t accept a lift from the person you’re meeting, even if they seem nice
  • Charge your phone before you meet and keep your phone with you

Help and Advice

If you’re under 18 and an indecent or nude pic of you is posted online, that’s illegal. But Childline can help You can contact Childline on 0800 1111.

You can report in to the Isle of Man Constabulary anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by filling in this form