Online safety

Online bullying (also know as cyber bullying) is when a person or a group of people use the internet , email, online games or any other kind of digital technology to threaten, tease, upset or humiliate you.

Online safety checklist

Your digital footprint is the mark you leave behind when using the internet. This can be positive and negative and determines how people see you in the future. Below are some great ideas on what you can do online to check you are being safe and having a positive digital footprint.

People can hide their identity online and make us believe they are something they are not, from online gaming to social media. It might sound very obvious, but if we don’t know them we shouldn’t add them, even if you have friends in common. Take care about the personal information given out online.

Regularly check your social media accounts. Delete accounts you are not using, think before you post, its ok delete or block people we are unsure off, check privacy settings and don’t post things of your friends without their permission.

Using your location on apps can be a very helpful tool (e.g. Google maps) where you can find a venue, street or house within seconds. However, using social media and giving out your location can be very dangerous. For example when using Snapchat maps, turn on ghost mode or only share you location with friends and people you know well, not strangers. The more people we add online that we don’t know, the greater danger we risk.

​Do you know what there is about you online? Do a simple web search of your name and see what you can find. If things appear online about you via social media or YouTube you need to have a look at this. You can stop this by happening by looking at your privacy settings.

Many of us sign up to social media accounts or apps without reading what we are signing up for. Be careful as there is no such thing as 'for free'. WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube make money by selling our information, the filters you use and what you click on. 75% of free mobile apps store and sell our information.

The simplified terms and conditions from the Children’s Commissioner explain what companies actually do with our data. If you have a free app on your phone you have not used for a while, delete it. Strict privacy settings will not stop companies selling our information, however privacy settings should always be reviewed.

Remember, everything we put online stays online. You should be proud of the things you put online.

​We don’t delete anything off the internet especially social media we deactivate information. Even if you close an account down the information on that account is still out there on the internet somewhere. What we put online stays online. Everything that sits on an Instagram account about you, Instagram own that information. 88% of all images that go onto or through social media will end up on other websites without us realising.

The internet and social media is a wonderful thing, so use it, but use it safely.

Don’t forget your online reputation can be damaged by your friends. Have a look at some of the comments under pictures or videos, if they are inappropriate you may want to remove them. Check online the groups you are part of and, if these are inappropriate, you may want to remove yourself from them. We all love a selfie, but go for quality not quantity when it comes to pictures.

Social media and online gaming can be addictive. It’s important we set time limits, using a phone late at night affects restful sleep and our mental health. Have a think about whether your bedroom could be a digital free zone.

Some suggestions if you're struggling to have a break from your phone:

  • try a gadget free hour
  • no social media after a certain time in the evening
  • have a break from social media during events or nights out with friends
  • delete a social media app for a few days and see you how you feel

Does your behaviour change, if so how? Make a list of the differences it made to you.

Who can I talk to?

It's really important to tell an adult that you trust (such as a parent or teacher) if you feel you can.

  • Childline -  free and confidential advice from counsellors 
  • Childline - online mobile safety advice
  • Rise above - online stress advice and support
  • CEOP - a national body can offer help and advice and case studies for young people
  • Service Six - based in Northamptonshire, they offer free counselling, support and help for young people
  • The Lowdown - offer free advice and counselling about bullying and e-safety to young people across Northamptonshire
  • Time2Talk - offer bullying advice and counselling to young people in Daventry and Towcester

Report online abuse

Where can I find out more?

  • Northants Police - find out about your local police officers and how to contact them, plus advice on keeping safe
  • UK Safer Internet Centre - resources for young people
  • Thinkuknow - is an award-winning on and offline safety programme for children and young people
  • Fearless - the only charitable organisation in the UK that enables young people to report crime with 100% anonymity. 


Bullying can happen to anyone at any age. Being bullied at school, home or online might involve someone pushing you, hitting you, teasing you, talking about you or calling you names. Nobody has the right to hurt you or make you feel bad. If you are being bullied you don't have to deal with it alone.