Who Is Your Little Brother Or Sister Really Talking To Online?
The internet is a wonderful tool - bringing endless possibilities for learning and entertainment.
It's bringing people closer than ever before.
In fact, the difference between socialising with someone in 'real life' and online has become more blurred than ever. You used to have to go out to meet with friends, but now you can chat, share photos and play games with other people all while curled up on the sofa in your unicorn onesie.
But this is where the darker side of the internet comes into play.
Social networks and other Apps have opened up the possibility of interacting with people from all around the world that you don't know at the click of a button. And this isn't always a good thing, especially for younger children using the internet. Your mum and dad or carer may well have taught you from an early age that it's good to share, but doing that online can be really dangerous.
Many of you will have brothers and sisters between the ages of 8 and 12 who are just starting to build up online social lives. They might come to you as their cool older brother/sister to teach them how to play Minecraft, how to use Snapchat or how to filter photos within an inch of their life to make them look like Taylor Swift. That's because they look up to you as a mentor and whatever you're using must be cool! And that's why, as well as sharing all those tips and hilarious YouTube videos with them, it's a good idea to make sure they're fully prepared for the dangers of the internet.
You'd never let your little brother or sister get into a car with a stranger, so you need to look out for them in the online world too and make sure they don't share anything online with people they don't know either. Your mum, dad or carer might have never heard of Whatsapp, Twitter or any of the other Apps you're using on a daily basis. In fact, they could be struggling to compose a text message, let alone be fluent in the lingo of the internet. And that means they might not be fully aware of the dangers or of how easy it is for strangers to get in contact with children. But that's where you can help point them in the right direction.
The NSPCC's Share Aware campaign is there to give parents a helping hand when keeping their children safe online. We want every young person who uses the internet to be totally prepared - to know what's OK and what's really not OK.
What you can do to make sure your younger siblings are safe online?
Have your parents heard about our Share Aware campaign? We have a parenting tool on our website that uses jargon-busting language to help de-tangle the web. Your parents can easily use it any time your younger brother or sister wants to download a new App, to suss out how safe it is and what they need to look out for. You can find out more information here.
Have you seen Alex's willy? You might want to show your little brother or sister the NSPCC's new video I Saw Your Willy, about how things can quickly go wrong when sharing pictures on the internet.
Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)'s Safety Centre is a great place to find advice and help - it also has a report centre for inappropriate behaviour online to the Police
Tuesday 10th February is Safer Internet Day 2015, keep an eye out for more articles on protecting yourself and others online
MeicCymru.org - Call, text or IM for free, 24/7, in confidence with your questions or concerns
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