How to stay safe online

Young people are vulnerable to online blackmail, particularly if they share compromising content. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

If you have shared something online that you wish you had not, or have been a victim of online blackmail, there is a wide range of help and advice available to help you out.

To talk to someone your own age or a counsellor, you can visit BeatBullying.

If you have been placed in a compromising position online, they will offer you sound advice.

General tips for staying safe online

  • Do not post personal information online - like your address, your email address or mobile number
  • Remember that not everyone online is who they say they are
  • Do not meet up with someone you’ve only met online
  • Block any users that send you nasty messages.
  • Never let anyone have access to your passwords.
  • Think very carefully before posting photos of yourself online.

See a full list of tips on the BeatBullying website.

Teenager Daniel Perry killed himself after allegedly being blackmailed online. Credit: Twitter / Daniel Perry

I want to remove a picture or video

If you have posted something you regret on Facebook, YouTube or another site there are ways of making it disappear. Even if someone else has posted something about you.

Get advice on the ThinkUKnow website.

I am concerned about sexual chat online

You can get help and advice from Child Exploitation and Online Protection. CEOP works to combat the sexual abuse of children and young people online and offline.

Learn more about how CEOP can help here

This video is about some of the issues that teenagers face in relation to "sexting".

Advice at any time

BeatBullying has qualified counsellors online from 8am-2am. If you need help outside of these hours, both ChildLine and Samaritans offer 24/7 advice every day of the year:

  • Samaritans - 08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org
  • There is also a wealth of advice about 'sexting' for teenagers, adults and parents on the CyberSmile website.