Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi Sam,

I am 8 years old and I downloaded some software, but it has gave me a virus.It is scaring me because it comes up to a dating site and also pops up with a private part site that I don't like it's scaring me alot.Im to scared to tell my dad because i'll get told off and a tried everything but nothing is working to remove it and i think it is perminate.

Thanks sam,

Ask Sam


Hi there,

The internet can be both really fun and scary at the same time. When something goes wrong, it’s usually be best to own up about what’s happened so that you’re not trying to solve the problem on your own. Sometimes the fear about how someone might react to what’s happened can be worse than how they actually react.

Most websites and people online are probably okay and not out to hurt you, but there are some that will. Not knowing which websites and people are good means that it’s better to be careful all of the time. It’s always a good idea to get support on how to stay safe online.

Accidents can happen and it’s likely your dad will know this. He will almost certainly have made mistakes before that he has to own up to as well, so might know how it feels. If the problem isn’t something you can fix by yourself, then it’s not going to go away on its own. Your dad might react better if you tell him about it, rather than letting him find out on his own.

If you and your dad want help and advice around keeping safe online then you can call a helpline we have helped set up just for that kind of advice. It is called the O2 and NSPCC Online Safety Helpline and can be called on 0808 800 5002.

I hope that helps, thanks for the letter.

Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

Ask me a question

You can ask me about anything you want, there's nothing too big or small. I read every single letter but I can only answer a few each week. My replies are published here on my page.

Write me a letter