Cyber Safety Tips Fact Sheet



Thanks to our friends at Family Lives in the UK, they have provided us with this great Cyber Safety Tips Fact Sheet! I hope you find this information helpful! You can learn more about Family Lives by visiting them online here.

Cyber Safety Tips Facts

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is when a person uses the internet, through various mediums such as computers, phones, tablets, etc. to threaten, tease or embarrass another individual.  It could be in the form of nasty messages, threats or humiliation.  Bullies may set up groups or fake profiles on social media sites like Facebook and ask other people to join and comment about a person or images of them.  Cyber bullying also include emailing someone a virus on purpose, posting personal information where it shouldn’t be or calling people names when playing games online.

Even though the bullying might not cause physical pain, the emotional effects can be devastating. Cyber bullying can happen day or night and at any time which makes it harder to track down.  Often people use anonymous or fake profiles so it can be harder to track down the perpetrator. Things can go viral very fast on the internet and spread with one click of the button.  This is why cyber bullying is such a hard issue to police.

How to keep you or your child safe on Twitter
  • Never give out your address or personal details.
  • Remember on Twitter everything you say can be open to the world.
  • Never give out your password.
  • Also be extra careful when you sign into Twitter through other websites.
  • Think before you Tweet! –  Anyone can see what you say unless you make your profile private.
  • Don’t follow back people you don’t know – This can help protect you against Direct Message spam. You can still talk publicly using @replies.
How to keep your child safe on Facebook
  •  Control who sees your profile. Go to privacy settings and edit your page accordingly. Review all of the options on your privacy settings page.
  • Talk to your teens about privacy and encourage them to be selective about what they share.
  • Make sure the tagging option is set to allow you to see everything you’ve been tagged in including photos before the tag links to your profile.
  • Don’t post your location and talk to your child about the check in option. It might be ok for them to check in at a party with friends but not if they are alone somewhere.
  • Set rules about what’s appropriate to post. Let you teenager know to be considerate about their status, wall posts and comments as once it is out there, it is out of their hands.
  • If something makes you or your teen uncomfortable, use the “Remove Post” button.
  • Teens can be impulsive and post something they don’t mean, talk to them about whether this could come back and be used against them later on.
  • If your child has an account, you might want to set up a profile and friend your child so you are aware of their activity.
  • You can also block people by using the “Block People” box on the My Privacy page. If you block someone they can’t see your profile and if they search for you then you are invisible.
  • If you see something that you find offensive or bullying you can use the “Report” link which is on the Facebook pages to make a complaint.
  • To deactivate your Facebook account, go to the “settings” tab on the Account page. That will remove your profile and content and nobody will be able to see your details or search for you. But if you decide to reinstate the account later then the whole lot will be restored, including your friends and photos.
  • If you’re not happy about the way Facebook dealt with your complaint, you can make a complaint to the Independent Safety and Security Examiner in the US (ISSE). Unfortunately ISSE can’t consider the actual abuse you are complaining about and it won’t re-adjudicate Facebook’s decision if it refuses to remove content.
  • Inappropriate content and suspicious people should always be reported to Facebook and can complain to CEOP too.
How to keep you and your child safe on MySpace
  •  Become familiar with the information in the Privacy and Safety Tips located at the bottom of every page on MySpace. 
  • Make sure that you do not reveal any information on your profile or via a message that you are unsure about or is personal as once out there, it cannot be taken back.
  • Do not believe everything you read on MySpace as not everyone is who they claim to be from their profile.
  • Do not agree to meet anyone physically or reveal your address to anyone without being completely sure of whom that person is and what their intentions are.
  • If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the way someone is approaching you, use the block option and if you feel you need more, simply click on the link at the bottom of every page on MySpace that says “Contact MySpace” and inform MySpace about the incident.
  • Common sense is important; use your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
General Danger signs
  • If the person tries to insist on having your address or phone number
  • If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else
  • If the person wants to keep their chats with you secret
  • If the person tells you that you will get into trouble if you tell an adult what has been going on
  • If the person emails you pictures which make you feel uncomfortable and which you would not want to show to anyone else
  • If the person wants you to email them pictures of yourself or use a webcam in a way which makes you feel uncomfortable
  • If the person shares information with you and tells you not to tell anyone else about it
  • If the person wants to meet you and tells you not to let anyone know
  • If you find any of these danger signs, it’s important that you TELL YOUR PARENTS or another adult.
Tips on staying cyber safe
  • Never give out your real name
  • Never tell anyone where you go to school or work
  • Never give out your address or telephone number
  • Never agree to meet anyone from a chat room or social media site on your own
  • Tell an adult if someone makes inappropriate suggestions to you or makes you feel uncomfortable online
Stolen identity

We hear a lot of complaints about stolen identity. This happens when someone either hacks into your account or pretends to be you when they set up a new account. Try to pick an unusual password and use letters and numbers. Don’t use any part of your name or email address and don’t use your birth date either because that’s easy for people who know you to guess. Don’t let anyone see you signing in and if they do, change the password as soon as you can.

Rumours and gossip

The worst thing about social networking websites is that anything nasty posted about you can be seen by lots of people because it’s so public and because the bullies make sure they tell everyone where to find the abuse.  Complaints to us show that most vicious gossip and rumors are spread by people who were once your best friends so it’s best to keep secrets to yourself.  Only tell people things if it wouldn’t embarrass you if other people found out about them. Posting false and malicious things about people on the internet can be harassment.


Anyone who makes threats to you on the internet could be committing a criminal offense.  It’s against the law in the UK to use the phone system – which includes the internet – to cause alarm or distress. It could also be against the 1997 Harassment Act. If threats are made against you then it’s essential you tell someone so that they can alert your school or parents and make a complaint to the police.  If you can’t print out the threats use the “print screen” button to take a snapshot of the computer screen and then save that in a word processing package or in your draft email folder. If you’re not sure how to do this email Bullying UK and we’ll show you how.


Bullying UK has had complaints from young people that new “friends” they have made on the internet have pressured them into taking their clothes off and filming themselves. Threats have been made that their parents will be told embarrassing things if they don’t take part. This is an offense called “grooming” in the UK and people who have been found guilty of “grooming” have been jailed. Remember: everyone you meet on the internet is a stranger and you need to keep personal things personal to you, don’t share your secrets with other people and if anyone asks you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable then don’t do it.  If anyone you know on the internet puts pressure on you to do things you don’t want to then that’s a big danger sign and you need to tell your parents or an adult about it so that their behavior can be investigated by an organisation like CEOP which looks after the safety of young people in cyber space. Even if all you know about the person is their email address the police can still find out who they are.

Abusive comments

It’s tempting to have a go back if someone makes a rude posting on your web space but don’t!! This is called flaming and it just makes the problem worse.  Abusive comments are very upsetting but the best way to deal with them is to get them removed by the website. Bullying UK tells you how to do this in each of the pages set up for each website like Bebo, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Instant messaging

There are quite a few instant messaging systems; they’re a great way to have a chat with a friend. MSN and Google are two of the best known ways to IM. But if things turn nasty you can block people from seeing you are on line and you can save abusive conversations or print them out as evidence.

Nasty pictures

It’s easy to snap off pictures on a mobile phone and upload them to the internet. Make sure that you have the person’s permission to take a picture and that they’re happy for thousands of people to see it on the internet. Don’t upset people and then upload their pictures for other people to have a laugh. That could be harassment. Don’t digitally alter pictures of people either because what you think is funny may be offensive to other people. Don’t let anyone take pictures of you that might embarrass you.


A Troll is someone who posts inflammatory, offensive and disgusting messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or social network sites with the intention of provoking the online community into an emotional response and causing serious offence. There have been some very serious cases and the police are taking trolling very seriously.

Very important information

If you post abuse about anyone else on the internet, whether it’s in places like Bebo, in games forums or message boards, or if you send threats in chat rooms or on IM like MSN, you can be traced by the police without any difficulty. Every time you visit a website or make a posting, your internet service provider has an electronic note of your activity. Even if you create an anonymous email address you can still be traced.

Nothing is secret in cyber space and something you write now might damage your job prospects in future because many employers search the internet before they take people on.

Further Support

Family Lives – we provide support for any family member or individual who would like advice on internet safety.

CEOP – Working across the UK to tackle child sex abuse and offering parents advice and support.

Childnet International – Know IT All – Website with resources aimed at young people, parents and teachers about safe and positive use of the internet. It contains information about what the risks are to users and outlines practical advice in avoiding or minimizing risks when using online and mobile technologies.

Internet Watch Foundation – Site for reporting potentially illegal online content, specifically child abuse images and content hosted anywhere in the world, criminally obscene content hosted in the UK and incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK.

Think U Know – Come in to find the latest information on the sites you like to visit, mobiles and new technology.

Kidsmart Digiducks Big Decision Book – A resource book for teachers to use in classrooms from Kidsmart.




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About Jennifer McDonnow

Administrative Assistant at She is the content writer of Kids Email blog and helps manage their social media accounts. Being a mom of two, she finds it important to provide helpful content to other parents in hopes to help in keeping more kids safe online.

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