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Social networking

Social networking sites, like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, are websites where you can create a profile all about yourself and send messages to other people. It's important to know how to stay safe online and what to do if someone is nasty to you.

What is Social Networking?

Social Networking sites are websites where you can create a profile all about yourself and contact other people. You can also upload photos, music and videos to share with other people, and on some sites, chat to other people on forums.

Popular social networking websites include MySpace, Facebook, Habbo Hotel, and Twitter but there are lots of others. They are used by people of all ages and some people have profiles on more than one website.

How do I create a safe profile?

When you're online, you won't always know who you're chatting to. Most social networking sites allow you to change the security settings on your profile, so it can only seen by people that you allow to see it. They also allow you to choose who you are friends with. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

- Never tell anyone any personal things about yourself or your family.
- Never give out your address or phone number.
- Instead of posting a photo of you, you could use a picture you like or a photo of your favourite band instead.
- Don't post any photos or videos that you wouldn't be happy for your parents or teacher to see. Once they are up online they can be copied and posted in other places where you can't get rid of them.
- Keep your passwords private and don't tell anyone, not even your best friend.

To report suspicious behaviour online, and to learn more about keeping yourself safe online, visit

  • What else can I do to stay safe?

    Once you have registered and set up your profile you can start adding your friends and sending them messages. As long as you are careful online, you can have a lot of fun with your mates.

    - Don't add anyone you don’t know to your friend list, even if they say they know you. If you don't know them, don't add them.
    - People can create really great fake profiles, so be aware that even if someone says they are your age and into the same things as you, they might not be telling the truth.
    - If someone contacts you or one of your friends with weird or nasty messages, don't reply to them and save the messages. Tell someone you trust such as a parent as soon as possible and show them what you have been sent.
    - If you are writing a blog, be careful what you write in it. Don't give away too many details about yourself.
    - Don’t arrange to meet someone that you have met online. Some people may not be who they say they are.
    - If you are contacted by someone that you are unsure of on a forum, contact the forum administrator.
    - Avoid sites that are meant for adults.

  • Is it ok to meet someone I have chatted to online?

    It is not a good idea to arrange to meet people that you have chatted to online, as you can never be sure if they are who they say they are. If you do decide to meet up with them, tell someone you trust, such as a parent, that you want to do this. Arrange to meet in a public place and take a trusted adult with you.

    You can call us if you are worried about anything to do with social networking, or if someone has contacted you online that you are worried about.

  • Facebook hacking

    Recently some Facebook accounts have been hacked and offensive images have been posted to people’s profiles.  If this has happened to you, you should report it to Facebook straightaway and tell a trusted adult what has happened. It’s not your fault and you won’t get into trouble. You should also report any profile pages to Facebook if you suspect the person is not who they say they are.

    To report a spam story in your newsfeed:

    • Click the arrow to the right of the post and select ‘Report story or spam.’ Doing this will hide the post from your newsfeed and send a report to Facebook. Even if it looks like the image is from a friend you should report it, as it might be that their account has been hacked as well.

    It is important to keep control of your profile and make sure you are safe.  Here are some of the most common tips to avoid your account being hacked:

    • Change your password – Most spammers are able to post in your profile because they have been able to hack your password. Use a strong password - a mix of numbers and upper and lowercase letters is best.
    • Check the apps on your profile - If you’ve ‘allowed’ an app access to your profile, they can post updates onto your Newsfeed. So if you’re not sure the app is legitimate, remove it.
    • Alert Facebook if you think a spammer has gained access to your account by visiting
    • When in doubt - DON’T CLICK!

Other sites that can help

Think U Know

Chat Danger

Social networking 


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