We have all been taking serious steps to stay safe and prevent us from getting (or spreading) coronavirus, even though we barely leave the house. So naturally, we’re spending a lot more time online therefore, you need to stay safe online too. Especially, when hanging out with friends, listening to music, watching videos or even doing a little schoolwork, and waiting for all this to blow over.
Just like in real life, there’s positive and negative things that can happen to you on the internet. And just like with COVID-19…
…You can take steps to protect yourself.
Knowing some warning signs, safety rules of thumb, and what to do if you do feel uncomfortable can help protect yourself and your friends.
Therefore, we want to share 5 rules of thumb to support and give you advice.
And help keep you safe online.
There are predators out there who are looking to take advantage of young people and they may pretend to be your age or act like they’re your friend. They might ask you to send pics. You might reveal something private to them — only to have them threaten to share what you told them unless you do what they want.
(This happens. It’s real. It’s called “sextortion.”)
And with lockdown easing up they may even want to meet up with you. It could seem OK at first, and then things can turn bad.
Bottom line: If you’re under 18, and someone gives you something in exchange for anything sexual, that’s Child Sexual Exploitation. We work with young people who met their traffickers online, and this includes most social networks.
We are inherintly social creatures, so please stay connected to friends and safe people. Keep doing that!
BUT REMEMBER: THE SAFETY OF ANY ONLINE FORUM OR APP IS BASED ON HOW IT’S USED. MAKE SURE YOU ARE ONLY USING THESE APPS WITH PEOPLE YOU KNOW AND TRUST IN REAL LIFE.
The world is full of dangers BUT also full of fun and positivity. It doesn’t mean we stop doing the fun stuff. It just means we have to be smart.
If you’re worried about a young person, please contact our Love146UK team.