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Online safety

Staying safe | Advice for parents, carers and friends

The internet is an essential part of all our everyday lives. But it can also be dangerous if you don’t know how to stay safe.

Sept. 30, 2022

Connecting online can make you feel closer to other people and help you feel like you’re not alone. Here are a few pointers about meeting people online and on social media safely:

  • Never give out your home address to anyone
  • If you are meeting someone in person that you connected with online, never invite them to your home – meet in a busy, public place like a café that you know well. Bring a friend if you can; if you can’t, always tell someone where you’re going.
  • If you meet someone from the internet and something feels odd or wrong when you meet them – they’re not the age they said they were, they want to introduce you to other people or they want to talk about things that make you uncomfortable – trust your instincts and make an excuse to leave. You can read more about this here.
  • Don’t meet someone at their home, even if you feel like you’ve got to know them really well online.
  • Don’t get drunk or substance affected before you go – keep a clear head, even if you’re nervous.
  • When you get back home again, remember to let your friend know that you’re safe.

What to do if you feel unsafe

Unfortunately, even though social attitudes have come a long way, people who identify as LGBTQ+ are still bullied and victimised, and this can make it difficult to freely express who you are.

If you are the victim of bullying or hate crime, or something doesn't seem right this is not your fault. This is always the fault of the person carrying out the bullying or committing the crime.

Remember, there is lots of support available if you feel you are being bullied or if you experience hate crime. You are not alone.

Contact our team in confidence at beyou@porchlight.org.uk