Whether we’re learning or working from home, online gaming, or socialising with friends and relatives, it’s likely that most of us will be spending more time online. As fun and positive as interacting on the internet can be, it’s important to remember the potential dangers and that we take steps to protect our privacy, our personal information, and know where to go if we feel unsafe.
Here are some top tips on staying safe:
- Do you know who you’re talking to? Live streaming and online chats
Live streaming can be great fun, as with posting pre-recorded videos, particularly when we’re not seeing friends and family as we would normally like to. As you would ordinarily, before participating in Livestreams, make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re sharing. Are you happy for everyone to see the content? If others are involved, make sure you know who the people are on the other end of the line. Are they recording? Do you know what they’re going to do with that recording afterwards? Never give out your personal details or location on live streams, videos, chat rooms or any other online platforms.
- Be aware of scams
The National Trading Standards have advised there has been a surge in Coronavirus-related scams - both online and offline. Be vigilant when interacting with others: if you’re buying something or donating money, do you trust the company, organisation or individual? Read the full article here.
- Talk about it in your household
If you’re posting videos or photos, check you’ve got consent from anyone else appearing in your content. Not everyone likes to appear online! Have conversations with others about what they’re doing online: others who you live with may not be aware of the dangers of some online sites or how they should behave online. Can you set some guidelines or agreements everyone can follow? The NSPCC has a great guide to different platforms for anyone who wants to find out more.
- Feel unsafe? Reach out
If you or someone you know has experienced something online that is worrying, contact someone who can help. The NSPCC has a helpline: 0808 800 5000 or you can fill out the online form. Childline is a great source of support for young people who want to talk about their experiences. Always contact the college or school that the young person attends, as they will be able to help too.
Online activities are helping to keep us all sane and feeling positive at a time that is very challenging. We should all be able to enjoy technology at the moment, but remember to remain vigilant and stay safe.
If you're struggling with your mental health, all students at Ada have access to Kooth: a free, anonymous, online support system. Use your Ada email to register here.