5 ways a better internet starts with you

1. It starts with...

The internet is a great place to chat and keep in touch with friends - but it’s good to keep savvy about what you’re sharing, and who with.

What the experts say: “Keep your personal information safe and check with an adult before you share anything online. Personal information includes your email address, phone number and passwords.

“Never agree to meet up with someone you only know online.

“No matter how friendly they might seem or how well you think you know them, they are still a stranger. Always tell a trusted adult if someone online asks to meet up.”

If you’re in doubt about someone’s identity online, have a chat with an adult you trust about what they think you should do.

2. It starts with...

Sharing respect is important to keep in mind in everyday life - online and offline.

Sometimes, it’s easier to say things to people online than it is offline. It’s important to think about the person you’re speaking to in real life terms: keeping what you say as respectful as if they were right there in the room with you.

What the experts say: “Remember that behind every screen is a real person. Being kind and positive online is just as important as being kind and positive face-to-face”

Sharing respect means being kind, and thinking about what you’re saying to someone, whatever the situation.

3. It starts with...

The online world is a lot like the real world. Friendships, and fall-outs, can be a big part of life. If you’ve had a disagreement with someone you know while you’re online, it can be difficult to get over it when you see them again in person.

What the experts say: “Even when we’re trying really hard to be a good friend online, things can still go wrong.

“If you ever upset someone online, even if it wasn’t on purpose, then saying sorry is a really powerful and positive action to take.”

Much like in the offline world, it’s good to know when to apologise and make amends.

4. It starts with...

Everything is so connected that it can sometimes be harder to log off than log on.

While the temptation’s always there to play one more round of your favourite game, or send one more message to your friend, sometimes it's good to check in with what’s going on offline too.

What the experts say: “Being online is great – there are so many fun and exciting things to do! But being connected all the time can get a little stressful.

“If being online is making you feel worried, upset or confused, it’s always worth taking a step back and having a break from your online activities.”

5. It starts with...

This is an important one. The internet is a big and noisy place. If something’s upset you, or things online have got too much for you, you can always speak to someone about how to make it better.

What the experts say: “It’s okay to feel worried or upset by something you see online – just make sure you speak to someone about it! Always tell an adult you trust if you see anything that worries you online.”

Online and offline, you’re never alone in dealing with things that worry you. You can read more great advice from the UK Safer Internet Centre here