If someone is saying things to you online that make you feel uncomfortable or is trying to exploit you for nude selfies, money or something else, you should always screenshot, shutdown and report.
But there are steps you can take to remove the risk of you ending up in a position where you need to use your screenshot, shutdown, report skills.
Look through these 6 tips (and share them with all the young people in your life):
1. Privacy settings are crucial:
Begin by tightening the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Platforms often offer options to restrict who can send you messages or friend requests. Limit communication only to people you know and trust.
2. Be selective with friend requests:
Accepting friend requests from people you don't recognize can expose you to potential risks. If you receive a request from someone you think you know but you aren’t sure…take the time to evaluate their profile before deciding. Mutual friends, posts, and interests can give you insights into their authenticity.
3. Avoid sharing personal information:
Never share sensitive information like your home address, school, phone number, or financial details online – this information can be exploited by individuals to get what they want from you!
4. Think twice about tagging your location:
While it is fun to add your location to your posts, this can inadvertently disclose your whereabouts to strangers. Maintain your privacy by keeping your exact location a secret.
5. Trust your instincts:
If something doesn't feel right in an online interaction, trust your gut!! If a conversation takes an uncomfortable turn remember to screenshot, shutdown and report.
6. Talk to an adult you trust:
If you find yourself in a situation that makes you uncomfortable or worried, don't hesitate to talk to a parent, guardian, teacher, or another adult that you trust. No one should judge you – if you end up in a dangerous or worrying situation online it is not your fault.
By adopting these safety measures, young people can enjoy the benefits of social media while minimizing risks. If in doubt, do not forget to Screenshot, Shutdown and REPORT.