At Foyle College, we recognise our responsibility to help educate students on both the benefits and problems of the internet and the increasing use of mobile technology. All pupils in Year 8 receive a presentation from the PSNI about staying safe online, and the proper/improper use of mobile phones. This theme is explored further as pupils progress through the school. Year 8 parents are also invited to attend a similar presentation given by the PSNI, which recognises the very important role that they have in ensuring their son/daughter stays safe online. There is some useful information contained at the bottom of this page for both pupils and parents.
Has someone acted inappropriately towards you online, or to a child or young person you know? It may be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone being insistent on meeting up. If so, visit the following website where you can report what has happened.
You can also contact the PSNI on 084556009000.
There is a lot of information available online to advise young people how to stay safe, and to inform parents about what they can do to help protect their son/daughter from dangers associated with online activity. One such site is:
How to stay safe online - some tips
Social networking sites such are a lot of fun. You can catch up with friends, meet new people and share your favourite things with the world. You might even like it because your parents have no clue what you’re doing. So, have fun, but remember that there are some dangerous things about social network sites, and some scary people hang out there, too. The good news is that you can protect yourself. You’ve probably heard them before, but here are some simple tips for having fun and staying safe online.
Restrict viewing of your profile only to people you know in real life.
Setting your profile to “private” allows only trusted friends to view your information. You still have to be careful what you post, but it's less likely that someone creepy will view your personal profile. Also only visit profiles of people you know. It makes it less likely you’ll run into someone who’ll try to hurt you, but it also helps protect you from downloading viruses to your computer.
Never share personal information online.
Do not give the general public information about yourself that you would rather just share with certain people in your life e.g. age, address, phone number. It is also preferable to use an alias, and it is better not to post your surname. Doing this avoids a range of problems from unwanted phone calls to unwanted visits to your home or unwanted online communications such as email.
Never post anything on your profile that you wouldn’t say in public.
Your profile isn’t private. Universities may be looking to see what you’re doing online and so are businesses. As strange as it may sound, you could end up getting rejected from your dream job because of things you post. If that doesn’t convince you, things posted on profiles have been known to break up relationships.
Never post suggestive pictures on your profile – be picky, be private.
Don't post photos that might give people the wrong idea about you. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you'd be embarrassed for your favourite teacher or your best friend’s parents to see it, it probably doesn’t belong on your page. You may think it’s just for fun, but other people might get the wrong idea. Also, people can download those pictures, so they might haunt you for a long time to come.
Never post false information about other people.
No matter how funny it may seem, don’t do it. Things you say about other people can hurt them now and in the future. Besides which, it’s just as easy for someone to do it to you! So avoid teasing, bullying or picking on others. What you dish out is going to make its way back to you, it’s just a matter of time. Also never use social networking as a way of getting retribution at someone by making false and hurtful comments. This type of behaviour can backfire on you and you are the one that ends up getting hurt by it. If someone makes hurtful comments about you, save a copy of the comments, and then tell an adult. Always keep in mind that online social networks should be used for positive communication. Remember that once you post information online, you can’t take it back. Even if you delete the information from a site, older versions exist on other people’s computers.
Not everything you read is true.
Have you ever pretended to be someone else online? Have you ever said something that wasn’t true? It happens all of the time. Don’t believe everything you read. People pretend to be older or younger and sometimes guys pretend to be girls and girls pretend to be guys. You just can’t believe everything you read, even if you want to.
Talk to your parents before meeting anyone in person.
Be wary if a new online friend wants to meet you in person. If you’d like to meet someone in person, talk to your parents about it. It’s incredibly dangerous otherwise. Before you decide to meet someone, do your research: ask whether any of your friends know the person, and see what background you can dig up through online search engines. If you decide to meet them, be smart about it: meet in a public place, during the day, with friends you trust. Tell an adult or a responsible sibling where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.
If you’re not sure, talk to an adult.
If you see something online that makes you scared, sad, or worried, tell someone. Find an adult that you trust and talk to them. It might be your parents, an aunt or uncle, a coach or a teacher i.e. whoever you think can help you out and make you feel safe. You should also do this if one of your friends has seen something or looks like they might be in trouble. Make sure you keep a copy of what has been posted, as this can then be used as evidence – the Police can become involved in such situations