Online Safety Campaign - Tips for teens on staying safe online

Police Scotland's 'Stay Safe Online' campaign is now targeting teens with vital advice on how to be web savvy and avoid the dangers of cyber-bullying and sexting.

'Selfies' are big news at present with many famous people taking them and posting them online including at big events.  But do you know just how far to go and what the consequences can be if your photograph was posted maliciously online.

That's just one of the aspects of the campaign which also features a hard-hitting Police Scotland commissioned video produced by the Leith Agency starring pupils aged 13-16 from Clyde Valley High School, Wishaw and Ross High School, Tranent, East Lothian who recount their personal online experiences. Click here to view the video

The nationwide Stay Safe Online campaign aims to help children, parents, teachers and carers improve their knowledge and understanding of how to keep children safe while they are online.

Tips and advice for teens

  • Keep your phone, laptop or tablet secure, use a password or PIN
  • Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do face to face
  • Think about what you post – would you be happy for people to still see it in 10 or 20 years. Comments, photos and videos you post or share make up your digital footprint, even if you delete it so there is still a record of it
  • Do you really know your online friends? Think about why and how you know people and if you are not friends in the real life, you shouldn’t be online
  • Never feel forced into doing anything you don’t want to do
  • Block people who send cruel or offensive messages and tell someone about it, don’t send them either
  • Don’t open links and attachments from people you don’t know
  • Never arrange to meet someone you have met on the internet
  • Sexting is never a good idea. Once images have been taken and sent to others, control is lost of them and they can end up anywhere. Just think – if you wouldn’t print and pass these images around your school or show your mum or dad, then don’t share by phone or other technologies
  • If you receive an indecent image or naked selfie from someone, do not send this image onto others or respond with one of you – report it
  • Always tell an adult you trust

Superintendent Stevie Wilson said: "We want teens to think about what they share; and to think about the consequences as thousands of school children are being bullied, blackmailed or harassed because photos they thought were private, became viral and went public.

"Police Scotland is committed to building Safer Virtual Communities for everyone. We want to help young people enjoy the benefits of the Internet by being able to Stay Safe Online.

"All children and young people need to understand they should only share pictures online that they are happy with friends, family and others seeing. They also need to know how to keep their personal information private and to contact an adult if they feel threatened.
 
"Any child who feels at risk or is worried should speak to a parent, guardian or teacher or they can phone Police Scotland on 101 or ChildLine on 0800 1111."

Further information about our Stay Safe Online campaign can be found on Twitter @PoliceScotland and Facebook: www.facebook.com/PoliceScotland.