Social network safety

Did you know that if you don't restrict your privacy settings, the whole world can see your Facebook profile, view your pictures and even see what's on your wall? 

Have you ever stopped to think what the consequences might be of giving out lots of personal information about yourself to people you don't know?

If you've never given it any thought before, you're not alone. Many people don't realise the level of information they are giving away freely on social networking sites and some aren't even aware that there are privacy settings.

Aside from suffering from potential embarrassment (would you really want your mum or your boss to see all those photos of you?), you could be making yourself vulnerable to crime. Fraudsters welcome such an open invitation to your personal details - while children's information could be used by sex offenders.

How to stay safe

Take time to review your privacy settings on any social networks you use - you will be able to specify exactly who can see your profiles, photos, status updates and other information. We recommend restricting your profile information to only be seen by people you actually know.
For example, in Facebook, you can alter the settings by clicking on the 'Account' menu in the top right of the screen and selecting 'Privacy Settings'. You can alter who sees each bit of your Facebook profile and posts.

It's good practice to check back every so often to make sure that your settings haven't changed - often when social networks update their privacy settings, they will default to allowing everyone to see everything, no matter what your settings may previously have been.

Reporting an Incident

Please make sure you can give us as many details as you can -

  • For chatrooms, the full web address including the room or channel.
  • For instant messaging, how you first came into contact with the other person i.e. from another web site such as Bebo or a dating site, including the address of the website.
  • The user name and email addresses (if known) for you and the other person.

If there is a serious allegation involving chat occurring in real time then the computer should be left as it is and not switched off. Chat logs are not automatically saved on the computer and can be deleted when the computer is switched off or the chat program is closed.
To report an incident to us, you can phone us on 612612.

Think You Know

 ThinkUKnow is an Internet safety program delivering interactive training to parents and teachers through schools and organization’s across the UK. Visit their website for lots of useful information about online safety.


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