Sharing

See advice on how children can more safely share content and interests online.

What is sharing?

If you have something you’re proud of then it can feel good to share it with others. Maybe its a photo you’ve taken or a video you’ve made. Maybe you have opinions and thoughts you want to share on a forum or in your own blog, or you want to share your interests with people who like the same things as you. One of the great things about sharing on the internet is that it’s so quick and easy - you just click a button on your computer, smartphone or digital camera and it’s there online. But that can also be the problem. If you post something in haste you may regret it later and by that time it may be too late to get it back. Here are some things you should think about before you ever share anything online.

Things to think about

  • Once you’ve shared something online you’ve lost control and ownership of it
  • Remember that people may still be able to see things you share online months or even years into the future
  • If you’re unsure about what you should and shouldn’t share online, ask yourself this: ‘Would I show this to my parents / carers / teacher?’ If you wouldn’t, then don’t share it online
  • Some people could use information or things you’ve shared in ways you don’t like or couldn’t have imagined
  • Some people could share things about you which are upsetting - without your knowledge

Things to do

  • Find out how to use the privacy settings on the service you use. These settings will help you take control of your information so that you can decide what information you will share, and who you will share it with
  • Keep your personal information private - this includes photos of you and your friends, your school’s name, email, phone number, date of birth, address and location; only share them with people you know and trust
  • Only upload pictures of yourself which you would be happy for your parents / carers or teachers to see
  • Only share details of your location with people you know in person and trust

Additional advice for parents / carers

  • Set up a family email address you can all use to fill in online forms
  • Set clear guidelines for your children about what is ok to share about themselves and about your family - lead by example and explain what you have shared and why; be aware that comments posted by your children could impact on you and your family’s reputation
  • Talk to your children about how easy it is for people to assume another identity online
  • There are a number of ways that you can set your own lists of sites you want to block access to; activating your internet service provider’s parental controls, or those of another provider, can make this easy for you
  • Install reputable internet security software on your computers and mobile devices; keep this and operating systems up to date
  • Be aware that children can access the internet through publicly available wifi for example in shops, coffee bars and bus termini; check whether your children’s devices have built in wifi connectivity and see if there are any tools to help manage access to inappropriate content
  • As part of a wider discussion about sex and relationships cover how people may use the internet to explore their sexuality which may include sharing sexual images
  • Be aware that smartphones often contain location technology. This technology finds the mobile’s position and provides services related to where you are. Talk to your child about who they share this information with

Reporting

  • Know / learn what to do if you have shared something you shouldn’t have
  • If someone has shared information about you which upsets you, or if someone is making you feel uncomfortable, talk to an adult you trust, such as a relative or teacher. If you would prefer to talk to someone in confidence you can contact Childline (0800 1111). If someone has acted inappropriately online towards you, or someone you know, you can report directly to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP). It could be sexual chat, being asked to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or someone asking to meet up.
  • If someone is bullying you using your information, there is help and support available from CyberMentors and BeatBullying
  • Know what to do if something online has upset you: talk to Childline or the Samaritans if you are feeling desperate or sad, B-eat for eating disorder advice and go to Report-it to report incidents of race hate. You can also report to us if our terms of service have been broken at www.samsung.com/uk/info/contactus.html