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Top tips for staying safer and more protected online.

Limit screen time.

It’s easy to lose track of time. Take breaks, set a timer and be honest about how long you are spending online, or it could affect your mental health and wellbeing. If you are worried about your screen time then ask for help from someone you trust.

Think about your health and wellbeing

Some online behaviour can become a roadblock to other health promoting activities. Know how to create boundaries and keep your own wellbeing a priority. Find out more about positive digital habits to practice.

Check your privacy, safety and location settings.

Carefully consider what information is available to others in your posts, who is in your follower list, and what restrictions you have in place. Find out more about privacy and safety settings.

Create a strong password

Avoid using predictable passwords and don’t reuse the same password across accounts. To create a memorable password that’s also hard for someone else to guess, you can combine three random words and four numbers to create a single password (for example cupfishbiro7391). Find out more about privacy and safety settings.

Make sure its genuine

If you see something online that you think may be misinformation or fake news then don’t share it, instead report and delete. Find out more about what to do if you receive a suspicious email, text or scam.

Use blocking and reporting features

Make sure you know how to access and use the blocking and reporting features in your online spaces. Find out more about blocking and reporting features.

Think about who you’re talking to

Not everyone is honest about who they really are online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share your information with them. Speak to a friend or trusted adult if someone or something makes you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Find out more about grooming and blackmail.

Watch out for in-game purchases

Check whether something will cost real world money before you buy anything. Only ever buy something with a parent or carer’s consent, and with a spending limit put in place. Turn off or restrict in-app purchases through mobile and console app stores. Find out more about gaming safely.

Think before you post

Avoid posting or sharing anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, friends, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, including sharing nudes, then you can easily lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it.

If this has happened to you then don’t beat yourself up over it! It’s more common than you might think and support is always available. For example, if you have shared a nude then:

Get support and report

Always remember, as time passes things change and how you feel will change. A feeling in this moment is not forever and there is ALWAYS things you can and someone you can speak to.

If you don’t want to speak to someone you know then you can get advice and support from a helpline. If your situation becomes more difficult or unmanageable please contact your GP in the first instance.

Get Support

Police Service of Northern Ireland

If someone or something is making you feel scared, threatened or distressed, report it to the police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Trusted Adults

If you are worried or concerned about something, please make sure you speak to an adult you trust.

Childline

You can contact Childline about anything. Whatever your worry, it’s better out than in. They’re here to support you.

Lifeline

If someone or something is making you feel scared, threatened or distressed, report it to the police by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Text-A-Nurse

This is a local service service for confidential text messaging support for 11-19 year olds.

CEOP

If you are worried about online abuse or the way someone has been communicating online.

Learn More