Advice for Children and Young people:
Find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology. Find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. Most importantly, there’s also a place which anyone can use to report if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online.
On Line Safety (PDF)
The BBC has a created a page full of really useful videos and stories to help children and young people of all ages stay safe on line. Click here to go to the page.
Find out the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology at the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) website. Also, find out what’s good, what’s not and what you can do about it. There’s also a place which anyone can use to report if they feel uncomfortable or worried about someone they are chatting to online. .
The ThinkUKnow website has lots of helpful advice about how to support friends if you are worried about them and who they might be in contact with on-line. This film highlights the danger of accepting people as ‘friends’ on the internet without knowing much about them.
‘Sexting’ is sending sexually explicit images that you have taken yourself, through mobile picture messages or webcams over the internet.
You may also call it:
- Sending a nudie, picture or selfie
‘Sexting’ is often seen as flirting and ‘normal’. Most young people do not see ‘sexting’ as a problem and are reluctant to talk to adults about it because they are afraid of being judged or having their phones taken away.
What you should know about sexting
If a young person under the age of 18 engages in sexting by creating an explicit photo or video of themselves then they have potentially created an indecent image of a child. By sending this content on to another person, they have distributed an indecent image of a child. By receiving content of this kind from another young person, they are then in possession of an indecent image of a child.
Other than the legal implications you need to also consider the possible reputation and emotional consequences of sexting.
- Reputation damage: sexting content can be distributed to other users very quickly, so once you have sent sexting content it is very hard for you to control where the content is posted. Your reputation could be damaged by this type of content if future employers, universities, colleges or friends see it.
- Emotional and psychological damage: the distribution of sexting content to others can cause distress and be really upsetting for those involved, especially if the content is distributed by someone they trusted. The effects of others seeing this content can lead to negative comments and bullying, and may result in a loss of confidence or self esteem.
Think before you send…
If you share an image of yourself online by photo, text or video, via your phone, tablet or computer always think first, “would I be ok with anyone and everyone seeing this?”
Any image of yourself that you send, can and might be shared by the person you sent it to. Once you press send, it is no longer in your control.
If you share a ‘nude’ or ‘underwear shot’ even with someone you trust, you are not able to control who they forward it to or where they save it. It can be sent on to anyone or posted anywhere on the internet. It could end up on social networking sites or even porn sites.
You should never feel pressured to send an image of yourself to anyone. Think about why someone would want you to do this. Once they have your image, they have it forever and could even use it against you.
Did you know?
Being involved in sending explicit pictures, where the person in the picture is under the age of 18, can be a criminal offence. This could lead to you getting into trouble with the police, affect your chances of getting a job and even limit the countries that you can travel to.
If someone is forcing you to send an inappropriate image of yourself you should report them to the Police by calling 101.
Before you share a photo of yourself always think:
“Would I be ok with anyone and everyone seeing this?”
Don’t send anything you wouldn’t want your parents, teachers, friends or future employers to see.
If you have sent a sexual image of yourself
Firstly, speak to someone that you can trust like a parent or carer, teacher or family member. You may feel uncomfortable about telling your parents but they will need to know so that they can help and support you.
You can call also call Childline free on 0800 1111 and this number won’t appear on a telephone bill. Available 24 hours a day.
To make a report click on the following link and follow the instructions: www.ceop.police.uk/ceop-report/
You can take control of the situation yourself by doing the following;
If you have posted the image on to a social networking site like Facebook, then you should remove it immediately.
If you have sent an image to someone else you need to ask them to delete it.
If the image has been posted by someone else on a social networking site, like Facebook, then you should report it. Each social networking site will have its own reporting tool. If you’re unsure, ask an adult to help you. Use the reporting tool to tell the site what has happened, as it breaks their own terms and conditions and they will remove it.
You will need to find out if the image is available elsewhere online. You can do this by searching for your name and username and placing your name in inverted commas: ”
It is a good idea to repeat the search regularly over a few weeks.
It may be impossible to delete everything online but you will feel more in control if you know what you will say to people about it:
- “I’ve made a mistake”
- “I’ve learnt from my mistake”
Always turn to a trusted adult for support and your close friends will be there to help you through this.