Waiuku College News

Online safety- Key messages for young people

Picture of Todd Malcolm
Online safety- Key messages for young people
by Todd Malcolm - Thursday, 22 November 2018, 6:12 PM

Five steps for keeping yourself safe online:

    Keep it private:

Keep your profile and online friends private and to be careful who you share personal information and photos/videos with.

    Keep it friendly:

Think about the potential outcomes for yourself and others for every video uploaded, comment posted, photo shared and email and text you send. Make sure you know what to do when or if you encounter cyber-bullying and who to report it to – a parent, teacher, or Netsafe can help children, young people and families.

    Keep it online:

Make sure you only ever meet online friends for the first time in the company of a trusted adult.  But there are somethings that we need to keep offline such as conflicts, comments that are hurtful or harmful, photos or videos that are not appropriate or are not ours to share, and types of personal information such as phone numbers, bank accounts, address, and things about ourselves that could hurt us or harm us if they’re online.

     Keep it locked:

 Make sure you use a PIN on your devices and mobile phone so if it gets lost or stolen it can’t be used to auto-sign into your online profiles. Use strong passwords and change them frequently, or a password manager and 2FA (two factor authentication) – you should not share them with anyone except you and your parents/carers

    Keep it real:

Stay connected and reflect your strong and positive personal values and behaviours online. If you come across something online that might be upsetting or confusing turn off your screen and tell someone you trust as soon as possible – if it has happened accidently then you have done nothing wrong. A trusted adult/teacher can help you.   Source: Staying Safe Online: A Quick Reference Guide

Managing your social media

    Most social media sites have a minimum signup age of 13 (check the terms and conditions) and many of these sites are used by millions of adults and teens from around the world.

    While there are a large range of apps and sites that we call ‘social media’, the safety mechanisms in place assume the person using them is 13 or over. Platforms are not designed to support younger users who have made up their age. This means that there may be some risks if younger people use these sites, such as adults using the same sites, things you might see, or the behaviour of older people online. Privacy settings may not automatically set to protect your information and posts, some content might be upsetting or confusing.

    Ultimately it is safer if you:

wait until you meet the age requirements, or

have a parent/caregiver support you in setting up and supporting you if they have agreed to your use of an app or site.

All New Zealand internet  users, including young people, can request support from Netsafe. Young people can ring us or email us to report something. They can go to our website  at Netsafe.org.nz or phone us on 0508 NETSAFE or 0508 638 723 toll-free.


Source: Privacy settings on social media: