Information on how to stay safe online

Ways to keep safe online

The internet is a great way to stay in contact with friends however it is very important to stay safe

When you choose a profile picture which might be put on social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, avoid putting photos up which could give strangers an idea of where you live.

Check your privacy settings regularly

Check your location settings, some social media sites and apps such as Facebook and Snapchat, let you share your location with other users

Think before you post

Don't upload or share anything that you wouldn't want your friends, family or teachers seeing.

Once you have pressed send, it is no longer private and you will have no control over who sees it.

Never share or reveal your passwords

Create a strong password that others will find hard to guess, using a mix of letters and numbers.

Keep your passwords to yourself and don't tell your friends, remember to change your passwords regularly

Be careful who you talk to

If someone adds you on a social media site or chat site who you don't know, ignore them and delete their request.

Don't share personal information like your address or phone number with anyone you don't know.

What is a 'groomer'?

A ‘groomer’ is someone who makes an emotional connection with someone and tries to make them do things such as:

-have a sexual conversation online or by text message

-send naked images of yourself, this is sometimes known as sexting

-send sexual videos of yourself

-do something sexual live on a webcam

-meet up with them in person

They may be old or young and they can also be male or female.

Most people at some point talk to people online whether it be through Skype or another form of online communication, it is a great way to stay in contact but it is very important to understand the dangers of talking to someone you don’t know.

If you send someone sexual photos or videos of yourself, you lose control over what happens to that image or video, the person you send it to might send it to others, or even use these images as blackmail, for example they might say they might post them online if you don’t keep sending more images or videos.

Signs of grooming

Online groomers can be very good at lying about who they are which means it can be very difficult to know if someone is an online friends or someone who is trying to get you to send them sexual images or photos.

If a groomer is trying to get you to share sexual images or do something sexual, often they'll:

-Send you lots of messages through Facebook and other social media sites

-Ask you to keep your conversations secret, they may ask you not to tell anyone that you are talking to them.

-Try to find out more, such as asking who else uses your computer or which room the computer is in

-Start sending you sexual messages; this could start off subtle such as them asking whether you have ever been kissed.

-Try to blackmail you, for example they may try to persuade you to send sexual images by saying they’ll get upset it you don’t.

What to do if you think you are being groomed?

If you think you’re being groomed don’t worry about getting into trouble, you haven’t done anything wrong. You can report your concerns by:

- Telling an adult you trust

If a groomer keeps talking to you, it may be best to tell an adult you trust or report them. Telling someone can be scary and you might feel that you will get in trouble, but telling someone can really help you start to get out of a bad or uncomfortable situation.

- You can report the adult or stranger by clicking here which will take you to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command (CEOP).

You can report an adult or stranger if they’ve sent you a sexual message, asked you to send one or sent anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or asked you to meet up with them.

Where can I find out more information?

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Opening Times

Opening times for Department of Sexual Health, Salisbury District Hospital (GUM)

  • Monday: 09:00 - 17:00
  • Tuesday: 09:00 - 17:30
  • Wednesday: 09:00 - 16:00
  • Thursday: 09:00 - 17:30
  • Friday: 09:00 - 12:00
  • Saturday: CLOSED
  • Sunday: CLOSED

For walk in times at the Department of Sexual Health, click on the view clinic button below.

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