You need to be careful about what personal information you share online. The person you are interacting with may not be who they say they are.
What’s the issue?
Online games are exciting and fun to be involved in. Multiplayer games can be great as you become part of a community and get to chat to people from all over the world. However, unfortunately not everyone online is who they say they are.
Some people may be out to find out things about you in order to take advantage of you, sometimes in very nasty ways. You need to be careful about what personal information you share in these situations.
Why does it matter?
- you can never know if the person you are interacting with online is actually who they say they are.
- you think they live on the other side of the world, maybe they live just around the corner from you. You can be tricked into sharing private information that can make you vulnerable to all sorts of scams
Personal should be private
- your personal information is valuable. Keep it protected on social networks by using a pseudonym (like a code name) when possible
- when you register for online competitions you are often asked to provide a lot of personal information - often on non-secure sites. These sites are not respecting your privacy. Before you type in all that stuff, think about what information is being asked for and why.
Some people are trying to trick you
- many people make their living from scamming other people online. You will be much safer from their scams if you talk openly about your activities with trusted older people, and don’t keep secrets.
Enjoy the social networking world - safely
- use sites that are designed for people your age
- know and use the protection provided in the security settings of the sites and apps you use
- learn about social networking by interacting with people you know offline.
Printable advice sheet
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