How do you make sure you stay safe online? Everyone who uses the internet needs to know how to use it safely. Read about online safety in the UK. 

In the UK 96 per cent of young people regularly use the internet to communicate, according to a survey of 24,000 British people aged from 9 to 11. A report shows that only 40 per cent of young people know that personal information shared online stays online forever. There are about 250 million tweets generated every day and around 800 million Facebook users  that means a lot of information is shared online. So are young people using the internet safely?

Private or public

Do you know how to change your privacy settings on social media? For example, you can click on the ‘flower’ icon or on ‘settings’ on Facebook to get to your privacy settings. Then you can decide who sees your posts and personal information: friends, friends of friends or everyone. Do you want everyone in the world to be able to see your email address or just friends?

The BBC Share Take Care campaign is all about helping everybody, from little kids to the over-55s, to make their online activity safer and protect themselves on the web. The campaign says adults and teenagers need to be more careful with personal information and images online. An online security expert from the BBC was given only the names and the home town of two pairs of mothers and daughters in the UK and then he searched online for information that they had shared in social media. One mother and daughter pair are keen Twitter users. They had frequent personal Twitter chats that they thought were private but were in fact public! Now they both know that Twitter has a private messaging function and their chats really are private. The other mother was very embarrassed when the security expert showed her a picture of her partner in his underpants! She had forgotten about posting the photograph and quickly removed it. The security expert also found lots of their personal details like dates of birth, addresses, maiden names, favourite football teams and popstars. Nothing embarrassing, but potentially useful information for a cyber criminal.

Be kind and stay safe

Everybody knows that we should be polite and kind to people in real life and online. Unfortunately sometimes this doesn’t always happen. Where can you report online abuse or unkind messages to yourself or your friends? Do you know how to report inappropriate content online? For example, if you see an inappropriate tweet on Twitter you can click on ‘more’ and then choose ‘Report tweet’. You can then block all further tweets from that user.

Even well-liked celebrities can be targeted by cyberbullies. Tom Daley, the British Olympic diver, was abused online. His father died during the 2012 Olympic Games and Tom received some very cruel tweets about this.

Here are our top five tips for staying safe online:

  1. Be nice! Treat people online as you do in real life.
  2. Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want people in real life to see.
  3. Check your privacy and security settings on social media sites and keep them as private as possible. Make sure you know exactly who can see your posts.
  4. Don’t ever post personal information like your home address, your email or your phone number.
  5. If you see something online that worries or upsets you, tell an adult about it straight away.

Safer Internet Day

Safer Internet Day, or SID for short, tries to help people to use the internet correctly. SID started in 2004 and is organised in February every year in 74 countries around the world to promote safe and responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. Each year there is a different topic such as cyberbullying or social networking. The focus for SID’s next campaign is ‘Let’s create a better internet together’. SID organisers want children and young people, parents and carers, teachers and educators, as well as industry and politicians to work together to build a better internet for all of us, but particularly for children and young people.

There are special lessons prepared for schoolchildren on Safer Internet Day in Britain. The UK Safer Internet Centre will be working with schools in the UK to encourage young people to help other people stay safe. You can find out about SID on this website:


How do you make sure you stay safe online? 


anna_v3r's picture
anna_v3r 4 June, 2020 - 10:12

I don't share my private informations online and before posting everything I make sure that I'm not violating any rules on the social media.

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mmatildepontoni04's picture
mmatildepontoni04 17 May, 2020 - 10:12

I don't share private information such as my home address, my phone number....
I don't publish personal photos and my account is private, so to follow me I have to admit people's request.
To take care of our privacy we shouldn't post everything about us like travelling to somewhere.

1 user has voted.
gio_cra2004's picture
gio_cra2004 24 April, 2020 - 17:29

I don't share private information such as address or phone number on social media and don't post inappropriate photos on my profile. All my profiles are private so I only accept friend requests from who I know. All of this is important to protect yourself and stay safe online.

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vittoriadigianno's picture
vittoriadigianno 24 April, 2020 - 13:27

for my privacy i don't post personal information for example my home address and my telephone number

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Gabriele1926's picture
Gabriele1926 22 April, 2020 - 15:39

For my online privacy, I don't post on social network my personal information, like where I live, what I do, or other things like these. And my profile is private.

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Matteo's picture
Matteo 22 April, 2020 - 15:28

I'mI'm pretty safe on intenet i have a couple of antivirus, I didn't give my personal information on websites that i don't know and I don't accept friend's request from someone that i don't know

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giogiomas's picture
giogiomas 22 April, 2020 - 15:27

I usually don't post my personal data, such as my address or phone number. I don't publish personal photos and my social media accounts are always private, so to follow me I have to accept people's request. It is important to stay safe online to protect your privacy.

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alaricofranca02's picture
alaricofranca02 22 April, 2020 - 09:33

I'm safe on the internet because I don't accept people I don't know and I try to stay in front of various notifications

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Youjiro's picture
Youjiro 21 February, 2019 - 14:11

I have a safe on life,I use AVG antivirus software to make safe on the internet.on other hand I don't use social media so often. I have never trouble on the internet ,I use g mail or social media to contact with friend on purpose.It's quite easy to get information. safe social media is on the discussion since facebook appear. User who use social media care about crime on the internet.

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SLMT's picture
SLMT 30 October, 2017 - 07:37

I never accept people whom I don’t know on Social Media.I never show my personal information such as .birthday,address,ph no.It’s very important to keep them secret.The next thing is we should not post everything about us on social media,like travelling to somewhere.We can’t know who is good and who is bad.If a thief was in you friend list and he saw ur traveling post,you house will be broken.I was also threatened by a taxi driver from taxi application such as Uber or Grab.We made argument and he threatened me he will post my ph no on bad websites or bad Facebook account.He said he can easily find my photos and adress on Facebook.But he couldn’t because my Facebook account can only seen my friends and Friends of Friends ‘s can only send friend request.So he can do nothing.That’s my experience.That’s why I never accept people I don’t know.I only accept people whom I really know,my colleagues,my relatives and my family.

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Ken's picture
Ken 23 September, 2015 - 07:23

Helpful article!
By the way, about your top five tips, it seems to me that the first tip -"Be nice! Treat people online as you do in real life! - doesn't sound so effective, it's too obvious for good people.
The thing is... I've recently leaned that there are people who use online to seek a vent for their dissatisfaction in their real life! Some people start their blog as an outlet for their frustrations, enjoying pretending somebody else to show off or whatever; others seek an outlet for pent-up feelings such as complaint and anger. These are the kind of people who tend to enjoy bullying and annoying others, believing that what they're doing is harmless for online complete strangers, vice versa, although these people might not be irritating in face-to-face situations!
Online Vanity Fair is going on.... I would say.
Anyway, I began to think we need to regard online world as a different world from our real life and they are separated, which we need to be aware of! What do you think about this point, anyone help??

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Wesal's picture
Wesal 8 February, 2015 - 07:38

I am agree to this advisable counsel, but when we registry ourselves in any sort of website they want our ZIP code e-mail address etc. So want can we do in this cases.

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 9 February, 2015 - 08:06

Hi Wesal,
You're right - but usually when you register on a website, the website doesn't make your email address public, they keep it on their database in case they need to contact you at any time. Make sure that this information is kept private on any website you register on. 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

1 user has voted.
AlexTheo's picture
AlexTheo 20 January, 2015 - 16:10

Well, I guess I stay safe online. even on Instagram I post only drawings online and I only chat with friends on Facebook

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Monisa's picture
Monisa 18 October, 2014 - 21:05

Social networks are, probably, the root of some crimes.
I make sure that I don't provide my email ID to whichever site wants it. You can trust all sites!
I also don't like to chat for long periods on the internet, because sitting on the chair and staring at the computer screen makes me extremely bored.
After having fought some online bullying, I would suggest all teenagers that never add unknown people to your friends list.

These are only some of the ways I maintain safety while using the internet. You've got to take a lot of other safety measures to be perfectly safe online!

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omarxx777's picture
omarxx777 16 September, 2014 - 19:59

I have safe online >

I think it is a good idea the SID, because it keeps the people in the social street subliminal for the internet crimes .

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Ganesdita's picture
Ganesdita 11 June, 2014 - 07:30

Well, I think I have safety online. I never posting my personal identities just like my phone number, e-mail, photos, and share everything on Facebook and twitter rarely. But I couldn't make sure about that, some people are mostly complicated

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guitarist9816's picture
guitarist9816 20 April, 2014 - 16:48

It is really pretty nice article about having some privacy on internet to make awareness.

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 28 March, 2014 - 11:46

Hi joong! You probably are doing things to be safe online without realising. For example, on LearnEnglish Teens you're not using your full name. That's good because it protects your identity, and keeps your personal information safe. It's important to think about what information people can see about you online, and follow the tips in the text above. 
Best wishes,
Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

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joanna682's picture
joanna682 13 March, 2014 - 07:43

Our school took action on the base of online safety, and we are preserving the idea of remaining happy even after such a major use of the internet, without any unwanted consequences. I think it is important to be wise when offering personal information online, and thus to prevent any further crimes that have started taking place in the virtual spaces of developed technology a few years ago.

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 12 March, 2014 - 01:28

Hi yamur. Online safety is very important and something that everyone should think about, so it's good you found this page and left a comment! You can start becoming safer online by reading this page carefully, and then you can watch this video about Safer Internet Day. Good luck and stay safe online!
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Lulli's picture
Lulli 2 March, 2014 - 15:24

I don't post my email adress, my number phone or my home adress, and when I'm on Twitter I don't post something like this, but I just write someting about my favourite bands, and on Google+ I have a page and there I just post quotes, so I think I'm safe on Internet :)

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