Using technology allows you to access a world of opportunities but can also open you up to potential dangers. Protect yourself from online threats like financial scams, harassment, cyber bulling by following the steps below.
You wouldn’t let someone into your house and look through all of your personal information such as you photo albums, diaries etc. By not setting the correct privacy settings in Facebook, you’re doing just that.
When using Facebook always think about who can see your personal information, this could potentially affect you in later life such as when you are trying to find employment.
Cyberbullying is the use of phones, instant messaging, e-mail, chat rooms or social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to harass, threaten or intimidate someone, often anonymously. It can include such acts as making threats, sending provocative insults or racial or ethnic slurs, gay bashing, attempting to infect the victim’s computer with a virus, and flooding an e-mail inbox with messages. If you are a victim, you can deal with cyberbullying to some extent by not responding to threatening or defamatory messages, and never opening e-mail messages from sources you do not recognise or from known sources of unwanted communications
For further Cyberbullying resources and help, visit:
Online grooming happens when people form relationships with young people and pretend to be their friend.
They try to find out as much as they can about the young person’s family and social networks and, if they think it is ‘safe enough’, will then try to isolate their victim. They do this using flattery and promises of gifts, or threats and intimidation in order to achieve some control.
It’s easy for ‘groomers’ to find young victims online. They generally use chatrooms which are focussed around young people’s interests. They often pretend to be younger and may even change their gender. Many give a false physical description of themselves which may bear no resemblance to their real appearance – some even send pictures of other people, pretending that it is them. Groomers may also seek out potential victims by looking through personal websites such as social networking sites.
In many circumstances, grooming online is faster and anonymous and results in young people trusting an online ‘friend’ more quickly than someone they had just met ‘face to face’. People intent on sexually harming young people can easily access information about them and they are able to hide their true identity, age and gender. If you’re concerned that you may be a victim of online grooming or know someone who is, check out these links:
Need further help?
If you ever feel unsafe online or in college, contact our Safeguarding or Wellbeing Team using the contact information below:
The Safeguarding Team
Lead Designated Safeguarding Officer – Patricia Byrne: 0161 296 6024
You can also ring the main college telephone number and ask to speak to a Safeguarding Officer: 0161 296 5000
The Wellbeing Team
Tel: 0161 296 5798