A lot of what we do is online whether it is for school, work, or fun. We can talk to friends and family online and learn new things. Being online can be wonderful, but like anything there are things to be aware of when navigating the online world.
Tips for Being Safe Online:
- Be careful of who you talk to online
- Keep your password private.
- Remember what you post online is there forever (even if you delete it!)
- Be aware of what you post online. Giving away personal information/pictures of yourself to people you don’t know can be dangerous. Another consideration is future employers will look at your online persona to see if you are a good fit for their company. Things you post now can impact your future.
- You own the pictures you post on Facebook and Instagram, but they have the right to use them worldwide. They can use them for advertising.
- Turn your location off on Snapchat for people you don’t know or people you do not want to know your location.
- While the safest thing is to not talk to strangers online, that is not realistic for how people use the internet. If you talk to someone you do not know online, be careful of what you tell them. Do not reveal personal details like your address or intimate information or pictures.
- Remember people may not be who they say their are.
- Block people who make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
- It would be easy to say, “Do not meet someone in person who you met online.” This is the safest practice, but that does not change the reality that you might meet someone that you met online in person. If you are going to meet someone in person, be extremely cautious.
- FaceTime or video chat the person before you meet them.
- Let people know where you are going and with whom.
- Do not meet at their house or yours.
- Do not get them to pick you up/drop you off.
- Meeting in a public area where there are many people.
- Bring someone with you if you can.
- Trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, do not meet the person or leave the situation.
- Do not travel with them to a second location.
Building Healthy Relationships Online
- Would you want that to be said or shared about you?
- Would you want someone to stand up and support you?
- Would you care if it was a stranger or another classmate?
- Would you want your social media accounts, followers, and the larger internet platforms we use to share what you have done or said online? Are you wanting positive posts or negative degrading comments?
- Would you care if it was a negative message? How would that impact you and your school/family?
- Would you want your trusted and safe adults (parents, grandparents, teachers, idols) to hear and see what you have posted and said online?
- Would you want them to think less of you for posting something harmful or be proud of how you supported someone else?
- Like our video, is it okay to say and do these things face-to-face, to a classmate you don’t like or another student you don’t know?
- Would someone who doesn’t know what is going on and who sees the behaviour think it was respectful and appropriate or unsafe and harmful?
What are healthy online relationships?
- With people who do not ask you to do something you are not comfortable with
- Have healthy boundaries
- With people you know
Remember, what you see online is not always real and what you post online is forever (even if you delete it, it still exists). Be kind to yourself and others online.
What are unhealthy online relationships
Unhealthy relationships online can be with someone you know or someone you do not know.
What Are the Signs?
- They send you lots of messages and often on different platforms, like Instagram, Snapchat, etc.
– If it is someone you know in real life, like your best friend, that is different!
- They tell you to keep your conversations a secret.
- They ask for personal information, like where you live, where you go to school, or how old you are.
- They try to blackmail you or force you into doing things you are not comfortable doing. They may try to get you to send sexual images of yourself or personal details by saying they will be hurt if you do not send it. If you have sent it, they may threaten they will post it or share them with people you know
- They try to create an emotional connection with you.
- They never show you their face or may send you pictures which are not actually of them.
- They may try to get you to:
- Have sexual conversations
- Send naked images or videos of yourself (sexting)
- Sexting is sending sexually explicit images or messages from one person to another using technology.
- The law states that sexting between or regarding anyone under 18 is considered possessing and distributing child pornography. Anyone owning a device or access to these images can be charged.
- The law is concerned about distribution and if one person in the relationship shares those images with other people or the images are leaked.
- Meet up in person
Cyberbullying is using technology to be hurtful, like texting mean things or posting things on social media.
For example, sending hurtful or mean messages via text, email, social media, or phone call, sharing an embarrassing picture of someone without permission, threatening to post pictures or personal information, pretending to be someone else online, or creating pages or polls to rate people in a hurtful way.
How Do You Deal With Online Bullying?
Things you can do to deal with cyberbullying:
- Block/delete them
- Save the messages for proof
- Do not respond
- Report the bullying to the site, trusted adults, and the police
- Use the bullying helpline at 1-888-456-2323
- Bullying Helpline Chat, click here to be directed to the chat page. It is available from noon to 8pm daily MST
- Call the Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
Remember, do not believe the mean, hurtful things the person says to you. Please tell someone even if the person is threatening to post things about you.