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Online Safety


This page has been endorsed by the York Youth Council                 




The internet can be fun and a great way to talk to friends, play games, watch videos and listen to music, and almost every child and young person is now ‘connected’ to the internet via your laptops, mobile phones, tablets or personal computer.


If you use the internet, you could be at risk of illegal activity or abuse – be it bullying, fraud or something more serious.


Not everyone online is real or honest about who they say they are and not all information on the web can be trusted.




 York St John University have created this short video around staying safe online

Young people across York have created a Social Media Guide to provide their peers with information and advice about using social media safely. 

In partnership with City of York Council, child and adolescent development psychology experts at York St John University ran workshops with young people (aged between 11-18 years) to understand how young people stay safe on social media. The workshops were run with young people across different settings (including schools and youth groups) within the city of York.

The workshops focused on:

  1. positive and negative uses of social media,
  2. understanding control in social media environments,
  3. the creation of strategies to “stay safe” online.

The workshops were designed to be fun, engaging and creative. Importantly, they encouraged POSITIVE and discouraged NEGATIVE aspects of social media use.

The following leaflets were developed and are available for children and young people:

Staying Safe - leaflet

Staying Safe - Limiting Social Media

Staying Safe - Protecting Yourself

Staying Safe - Stopping Horrible Interactions

Staying Safe - Using Social Media Safely


wall online safety

Tips For Staying Safe Online



  • NEVER use your real name in chat rooms
  • DON'T give out personal information such as your address, mobile number, passwords, school, the clubs you go to, photos of yourself - even if someone tells you things about themselves
  • NEVER respond to rude or mean messages (and don’t send any to other people)
  • NEVER create or post a video or picture you wouldn’t want shared
  • Only arrange to meet someone you have been chatting to with your parent’s/carer’s permission and at a time when they can come with you
  • Be careful about accepting messages if you don’t know or trust the person who sent them – they can contain nasty images or viruses that may damage your devices
  • Remember you can block people in a chat or instant messenger
  • AGREE some rules with your parents about what’s OK to do online and what isn’t – it will save arguments later!
  • If anything makes you feel uncomfortable or worried, talk to your parents/carers/teachers (a trusted adult) about it 




Online gaming means you can play in real time with people across the world through a computer, games console, tablet or smartphone connected to the internet. Games can offer you a world of adventure to immerse yourselves in, but it’s important to understand how to stay safe and what games are appropriate for your age.

Gaming is a fun and sociable way to spend time, encouraging teamwork and developing skills. However:

  • Some games let you play and chat with anyone in the world. This means you might come across offensive language and bullying
  • Not everyone online is who they say they are. You should avoid giving out personal details that could identify you or your location
  • Some games encourage players to buy extra elements during the game – young people have been known to run up large bills without realising 
  • If you feel uncomfortable, log off, you don’t have to say on the game


Bullying Online



When someone bullies you online this is called Cyber bullying, don’t keep it to yourself or try to deal with it alone.

Tell someone you trust as it can help to talk it through with someone, keep a record of the bullying but try not to respond to any messages, commenting or sharing could make the bullying worse.

Inform the Police if there is any serious threats to you.

Cyber bullying is not against the law, but harassment or threatening behaviour is. That means if someone keeps making you feel scared on purpose, what they’re doing could be illegal.





Sexting is when someone takes a sexually explicit picture or video of themselves and then sends it to someone else. Sometimes people who are trying to bully someone may ask for these kinds of images so they can send them on to other people.

When people talk about sexting, they usually mean sending and receiving:


  • naked pictures or ‘nudes’
  • ‘underwear shots’
  • sexual or ‘dirty pics’
  • rude text messages or videos


.When you’re under 18 it’s against the law for anyone to take or have a sexual photo of you – even if it’s a selfie.

They can be sent to or from a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you’ve met online. Sexting can easily happen. Things can go wrong – even when you didn’t mean for them to.

If this happens to you, tell someone you trust and you can contact Childline to have the image removed. This is called 'Report Remove' and further information is below.,


Remove a Nude Image Online


Report Remove is a new tool launched by Childline and Internet Watch Foundation to help young people remove nude images that have been shared online.

If you someone has betrayed your trust and added a nude image of you online it can be scary but Childline can help.  

If you're under 18 and a nude image or video of you has been shared online, you can report it and to be removed from the internet.  The Childline website has all the steps you need to take to remove your image. 

The Report Remove tool can be used by any young person under 18 to report a nude image or video of themselves that has appeared online. The IWF will then review this content and work to have it removed if it breaks the law.

The circumstances in which a young person may share a self-generated sexual image can vary. Some may have sent an image for fun, or to a boyfriend or girlfriend which has then subsequently been shared without their consent. Whilst others may have been groomed online or blackmailed into sharing this content.

Trained Childline counsellors know the devastating impact that the sharing of nude images can have on a young person.

Some young people told our counsellors they felt embarrassed, fearful and self-loathing, while others had concerns about the long-term impact on their future prospects - and some revealed they’d turned to self-harm to cope with their situation.

One girl aged 14 who contacted Childline said: “I don’t know what to do because this Instagram account keeps posting pictures of me and they keep saying they’re going to follow my friends so they can see them too. It all started after I shared naked pics with someone who I thought was a friend but it turned out to be a fake account. I just feel so hopeless and I don’t know how to make it stop”.

If a child has had a nude image shared online it’s vital you know who to turn to for support and that Childline and the IWF’s Report Remove tool is available for you.

The tool which was first piloted in February 2020 can be found on the Childline website and can be used by any young person under the age of 18.As part of Report Remove, a young person has to verify their age and

Childline also ensures that all young people are safeguarded and supported throughout the whole process.

Young people can expect the same level of confidentiality that they would from all their interactions with Childline; they do not need to provide their real name to Childline or IWF if they don’t want to. In keeping with this child-centred approach, the tool has been developed in collaboration with law enforcement to make sure that children will not be unnecessarily visited by the police when they make a report.


For further support, children can contact a trained Childline counsellor on 0800 1111 or

via 1-2-1 chat on



Useful websites to help you stay safe on social media

The following organisations can also help you and give you free confidential advice:

Think U Know - a website aimed at children and young people provided by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre. Contains very useful information about how to stay safe on line.

Safekids - an internet safety resource for children.

The Breck Foundation campaigns for a saferinternet for all children and young people - whether you are gaming, communicating on social media, using apps or taking part in any other internet-based activity.

Childnet’s mission is to work in partnership with others around the world to help make the internet a great and safe place for children. Online safety advice, activities, games and films for young people, parents, teachers and professionals

Net Aware - the NSPCC's guide to the social networks you use. Stay up to date and keep yourself safe in today's digital world.

CEOP website for children, parents and professionals which covers online safety and internet use. A website where you can report concerns. Are you worried about online sexual abuse or the way someone has been communicating with you online? Make a report to one of CEOP's Child Protection Advisors.

UK Safer Internet Centre has a hotline for reporting and removing sexual images of children online.  

Childline have lots of information on bullying and cyberbullying.

Report Remove - Chldline's Tool for removing an image posted online.

Net Aware - the NSPCC's guide to the social networks your kids use. Stay up to date and keep your child safe in today's digital world.

NSPCC Net Aware have reviewed the most popular apps, games and social media sites you are using.