You may not realise it BUT every time you go online you leave a trail!! However, the internet can be used safely to post lots of positive information about you, such as creative activities you are involved in, blogs, fundraising activities or clubs in the area.
So aim to keep yourself safe and don’t put too much personal information about yourself online and focus on doing positive things. It would be rubbish if you missed out on a job or university opportunity because of bad content you posted online about yourself or somebody else. If you are unsure about how to create a positive digital footprint, ask a trusted adult to help you.
Important things to consider
You will also need to think about some of the big risks of being online. These include sexting and online grooming.
What is sexting?
Sexting usually refers to sending and receiving:
- Naked pictures or 'nudes'.
- 'Underwear shots'
- Sexual or 'dirty pics'.
- Rude text messages or videos.
They can be sent from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you've met online. You might have also sent a sexual photo, video or text to someone else. Sexting can easily happen and things can go badly wrong, such as the content shared with a large number of people or being bribed to post more images. However, you have the right to say no and not be pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do. Ask them to stop, but if they’re still bothering you or making you feel upset it’s okay to block them.
What is online grooming?
Grooming is when someone builds a relationship with a young person and tricks them or forces them to do something sexual. It might include trying to meet up with the young person. People who do this often lie about who they really are and this can happen online as well as face to face. Even though you might think it is your fault and at any point which you are worried, remember it is NEVER too late to tell a trusted adult or report it to CEOP.