During this Isolation period, Silx has become a ‘virtual’ youth project and the majority of contact we have been having with young people is over the phone or via the various social media networks. We have noticed whilst setting up these accounts especially Instagram that there is a large number of young people who STILL have an open profile despite warnings and workshops from us in the past. We are shocked at how easy it was for us to access your pictures and information just by simply clicking ‘follow’ so we thought it would be beneficial to write a recap on how to stay safe online and explain the dangers.
- Make your profile private- All social media networks have the option to make your profile or page ‘private’ doing this is usually very simple and can be found in settings. It is important to do this so anyone that wishes to follow you or add you as a friend has to request this and cannot automatically access your details and photos.
- Only accept requests from people you know- You will get requests from people you don’t know, our advice is to NOT accept these requests and block these profiles. Ask yourself- why does this person want to follow someone they don’t know? Are they really who they say they are? If you let these people follow you then you are putting yourself at serious risk, these people could be dangerous and they now have access to your personal information and your photos.
- Don’t talk to people or arrange to meet people you don’t know- It is very easy to become ‘sucked in’ or flattered by messages from people that claim to be someone you would possibly find attractive if you met them in person, however they are likely NOT to be the person they say they are. This is known as Grooming. Messaging someone you don’t know and arranging to meet them is VERY DANGEROUS. What if you met them and they tried to hurt you or made you do something you didn’t want to do or worse? Remember Kayleigh’s story? (see it here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsbYHI-rZOE ) you wouldn’t want this to be you so please do not engage in conversation with someone you don’t know and certainly don’t arrange to meet them.
- Turn off your location- Having your location visible on apps such as Snapchat means people know exactly where you are and could turn up there. Would you really want a stranger turning up at your door? Turn your location off and keep yourself and your family safe.
- Don’t follow inappropriate pages- There are so many awful pages and we are so shocked to see that some of you follow these! These pages include pro suicide and self harming pages and also ‘rate me’ pages and on these pages young people are slated and exposed to horrific images, please don’t give these pages any credit and un follow them, block them and report them. Pages like this are incredibly damaging to the health and well being of young people.
We hope these tips are helpful, social media and the internet can be fun if used properly but can be very dangerous if you don’t stick to the simple rules that are there to keep you safe. We always say you wouldn’t leave your front door wide open and allow a stranger to walk into your house so this principle should also be followed online.
Stay safe, Stay home and contact us when ever you need us.