The Internet and ICT are changing lives, for entertainment, communicating, socialising and learning. Connecting to the Internet is almost universal, whether via a mobile, music player, gaming console or even a computer.

If you need advice, help or support to use the internet safely, or if you want to report a concern about how someone has communicated with you using the internet, you can click on the CEOP icon.

When it comes to making the most of the technology and protecting yourself online, the Childnet’s SMART rules are really useful:

  • S is for Staying Safe
  • Keep safe by being careful not to give out personal information when you’re chatting or posting online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and password.
  • M is for Meetings can be dangerous
  • Meeting someone you have only been in touch with online can be dangerous. Only do so with your parents’ or carers’ permission and even then only when they can be present. Remember online friends are still strangers even if you have been talking to them for a long time.
  • A is for Accepting sensibly
  • Accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or nasty messages.
  • R is for Reliable
  • Someone online might lie about who they are and information on the internet may not be true. Always check information with other websites, books or someone who knows. If you like chatting online it’s best to only chat to your real world friends and family.
  • T is for Tell
  • Tell your parent, carer or a trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, or if you or someone you know is being bullied online.

There are risks connected with social networking sites such as Facebook, which allow for instant contact with ‘friends’ the world over. The following will help you get the most of these online social spaces, whilst helping to protect yourself.

When online, think about:

  • Scale – the internet community is truly global
  • Audience – who is looking at the content you publish?
  • Permanency – when you post something online, it will always be there

The simple steps:

  • Think before you post anything
  • Manage your privacy and application settings
  • Review (and manage if necessary) your friends list
  • Manage your photos and albums
  • Protect your passwords
  • Think about your language and behaviour
  • Regularly search for yourself to understand your digital footprint
  • Report abusive content

General Internet Safety Resources


Safer Social Networking


Where can you get help?


Guides for Parents


Guides for Schools