Staying safe on line

John Kyrle High School is highly committed to ensuring that our students, i.e. you, are safe online. The Internet and online tools are essential for research, planning, communicating and campaigning effectively.  Remember that this includes the use of mobile phones, tablets and any technology that is used to communicate with others.

Usually things go well, but you should be aware of the risks and how to act safely and responsibly. You should read, understand and adhere to the School’s “Acceptable Use Policy” at all times.

At home you may be exposed to more risks. You should bear the following in mind whenever you are accessing the internet:

Personal Information

It’s best not to give out your personal details to online friends.  Personal stuff includes:

  • your real name,
  • your email address,
  • your real address,
  • your phone number,
  • your age (or date of birth),
  • your school,
  • whether you are a boy or girl.

It is best to keep all this info to yourself because you never know who might see it.  Remember that sending a text to someone gives them your phone number.

Posting Information

Think before you post something online, send an e-mail or text message. Remember, absolutely anyone can read it and it can be forwarded or copied to anyone. If you wouldn’t want your parent/carer to read it or see it – don’t post it!  It is particularly important to be careful with images or videos.  If you publish a picture or video online, anyone can change it or share it.  It can also tell someone where you are and what school you go to.

Things to avoid

SPAM / Junk email & texts:  messages from someone you don’t know, even if it looks like they know you.

People use this to trick you into replying to them – they didn’t know your number before, it was just automatically created with thousands of others.  If you reply, they know you.  They only need to get one in a thousand to reply to consider it a success.  They will then target you:- DON’T reply, just bin it.

It is also possible that the message contains hidden content that could track you, or modify your device.

Attachments

It’s not a good idea to open files that are from people you don’t know. You won’t know what they contain – it could be a virus, or an inappropriate image or film.

Remember, some people lie online. If your only contact has been with someone ‘online’, then it’s better to keep online mates online. Don’t meet up with someone you have only met online without an adult you know and trust.

Things to do

Tell

It’s never too late to tell someone if something makes you feel uncomfortable. Tell a parent or teacher, then report it online to the owner of the website; or there are people who can help. If in any doubt – report it.

Ask

If you absolutely have to join a chatroom, have a new email address, or shop online, stop and think. Get a parent or carer to stand with you to help you through the process.  It is very easy to fill in an online form and add information that is not absolutely necessary; even adults do it, so take care.  Only provide the bare minimum and make sure the site is a secure.  Look for the HTTPS:// in the address bar.

Remember…

Every photo, video, piece of music and line of text was created by someone. Most of this will not be freely available for you to use or copy. You ALWAYS need permission to use other people’s stuff. It is safest to create your own.