Milton Keynes 0-19 Service

Staying Safe Online

The things you put online can be seen by lots of people and might stay online forever. They are like digital footprints – a trail that people can follow, picking up pieces of information about you.

We all leave digital footprints and with every new profile, photo or comment we add new ones. People that you know, and people you don’t, can learn a lot from them. Your footprints can show you at your very best or very worst.

This is the reason why to use most sites you can share information on you need to be over 13. If you’re under 13 you shouldn’t be using them.

Remember, if you have posted something you regret - it’s never too late to take control.

Questions you should ask yourself before you post

What do I look like?

If you didn’t know you, what would think about this post? What would you think about the person who posted it? Things that we might share with friends as a joke can look very different to someone else, and that might be someone you’re trying to impress – a girl, a boy, even an employer or a university recruiter.

Is this link permanent?

When you share something online, you can lose control of it. Even if you delete a photo or post you can’t be sure it hasn’t been copied or downloaded by someone else. Think about how many people you’re sharing with and whether they will take care of what you share. Don’t forget it’s easy for other people to copy what you share online, change it and share it without you knowing.

Am I giving away too much?

The more you share, the more people can learn about you. Could they use your posts to bully you?

Would I want this shared about me?

The more you share, the more people can learn about you. Could they use your posts to bully you?

The BillboardTest.

Before you post something online, think: would you be happy to see it on a billboard where the rest of your school, your parents, your grandparents and neighbours could see it? If not, think twice about sharing online.

Tips for being safer online

Keep your privacy settings

Most websites, apps and social networks you can share information on have ‘privacy settings’. These help you control what you share and who you share it with. So, it’s your choice to decide whether your friends, friends of friends or everyone can see what you post.

Choose your friends wisely

It’s always best to only share with friends you know in the real world. Remember too that what your friends share about you and their privacy settings online will also affect your digital footprint.

Remove and report

Think you shouldn’t have made that comment? Make sure you know how to remove anything you regret posting from any sites you use. If someone’s posted something about you that you’re worried about and refuses to take it down, make sure you know how to report it. Most websites will have a ‘safety centre’ explaining how to do it. Get links for popular websites safety centres. If someone is trying to use what you've posted online to harm you, or makes you feel uncomfortable, worried or even frightened online you should tell an adult you trust, or report to CEOP. Whatever may have happened you won’t be in trouble.

Know yourself online

It can be hard to keep up with the things we’ve done online so regularly Google yourself. That way you’ll know what other people find out about you, as well as things others might have posted about you.

Shut down or delete.

MIf you stop using a website that you’ve posted information on remember to deactivate your account.


CEOP helps young people who are being sexually abused or are worried that someone they’ve met is trying to abuse them.

If you’ve met someone online, or face to face, and they are making you feel uncomfortable you should report them to CEOP at

This information has been provided by the School Health Service and Thinkuknow, a guide to internet safety at