Ask Sam letter


To Sam

internet friends

Hi Sam, I am writing to ask you if it is okay to have internet friend. I have over fifty Internet friends that I talk to on a daily basis. i have met two of my Internet friends and my current Internet girlfriend. I talk to my friends on Skype, Facebook and factime. So I know who I'm talking to when I see their face. I understand that the Internet is a scary place but when ever I have an assembly at school about Internet safety I always get annoyed cause the say not to have Internet friends.

Ask Sam


H there,

The internet can be full of both opportunities and dangers. So knowing how to stay safe online can help you make sure that the friends you make are genuine and want what’s best for you.

Whilst there are many people using the internet and social media for the same reasons you do, there are also those that use this to their advantage and leave some young people vulnerable. So it can help to take steps to make sure that the people you meet online are the people they say they are.

Many people meet good friends online who can support you, and you can meet people you may not have met otherwise. Until you feel sure these are people you can trust just as much as the friends you have in your day to day life, it’s a good idea to try to be careful about how much information you share with them.

It can be really easy to invent a character online, to lie about who you are or what you believe in. Because this can be so easy to do, some people do use this to take advantage of others which can leave them feeling vulnerable.

It’s good that you have physically seen the people you have spoken to through video calls. This can help you to know they're about the age they say they are. When you do talk to people online it can help make sure you don’t share too much about yourself at first. Even if seeing them makes you feel comfortable, there can be other ways people can trick other young people into getting into a difficult situation. If you're adding people you don’t know too well on Facebook it can help to think carefully about what you are posting and what this might tell them about you.

Abuse and bullying can take many forms and sometimes it might not seem obvious that what’s happening is not ok. If you ever feel you are getting talked into doing something you don’t want to do, or you have doubts about what someone is telling you or why they are telling you, it’s important to get support. If you can’t think of any adults in your life you would feel comfortable talking to, Childline will always be here for you whenever you need to talk.

Because Childline understands how important it can be to have support from people of a similar age, they have created a really safe place for young people to come and talk to others without having to worry about any of the bad things that can happen online, the Childline message boards. All messages that are posted are checked first to make sure they meet the house rules and that there's no personal information that could identify someone. There are lots of boards to explore depending on how you're feeling so if you’d like a safe place to meet people online, you would be very welcome to post there.

Take care,


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