Online Safety

Students online safety
Social Networking
It’s so easy to post online now - from your computer, digital camera or mobile that often we do so without thinking. Sometimes we post things then want them removed. Once your picture is out there, it’s out there forever and you won’t be able to get it back. Most sites will have a delete post option, but remember that once you have put something up – anyone can save it and re post it.
Safer internet
Think before you post video - YouTube.
If you post a message that includes a libellous sentence about someone, you could be liable for prosecution and in some cases the host message board can also be prosecuted. This includes private messages.

In general the laws are the same, slander, threaten, bully, harass, make racist remarks and there may be legal consequences.


What is sexting?
Sexting is sending a sexual photo of yourself or someone else via text. If the people involved in sexting are under the age of 18, it is against the law and whoever has that picture on their phone, is technically in possession of an indecent image of a child. This is illegal (even if the person is your boyfriend or girlfriend). This means you could be prosecuted under the Sexual Offences Act 2003.


Illegal Downloads
There are now a variety of sites that allow you to buy music online or allow you to legally download free music/videos. However, many internet users continue to break the law by downloading copyright-protected files for free.
What is copyright?
Copy right is a form of legal protection that grants the creator of words, pictures, computer programmes, web pages, designs and music the right to control how their creation is used. Every image, sentence and audio or video clip belongs to someone; if you use it without permission you may be breaking the law.

If you're caught illegally downloading copyrighted music or video from the internet, you may be faced with a fine that costs you thousands of pounds!

 Piracy is a crime

Piracy it's a crime - YouTube





It's easy to remain anonymous on the web and this can encourage some people to make up things about themselves, even passing off someone else's face as their own. People online are not always what they seem and if they get hold of your personal information they may use it.

Protecting your personal data online is a necessary habit you need to adopt. It will stop your inbox filling with unwanted spam and it could prevent you from falling victim to identity fraud. If you follow a few simple steps now it could save you a lot of hassle in the future:

  • Be careful about the information you are giving out to trusted suppliers, as this information could be lost, stolen, loaned or misused


  • Protect your computer with anti-virus software


  • For social networking sites sign up using a personal account you don’t use very often


  • Using a nickname that does not readily identify who you are


  • Always read the small print, know what you are signing up for. If the site is a UK based company you are protected under data protection law



What is data protection?

The Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by corporations or the government. It requires everyone who collects data to follow strict rules, and to keep your information safe. Data protection covers the processing of personal information. Personal information is not limited to your name and address, but any data that could reasonably be put together with other information that will disclose details about you. Information such as; if you live alone, your phone number, your email address etc. The processing aspect relates to pretty much any operation on your data involving a computer or manual system - from selecting your name for a mailing, to reading it off a screen during a sales call.


Advice for Students
  • Keep safe by not giving out personal information


  • Avoid meeting up with someone you have only met online. Someone online may be lying to you about who they are and it can be difficult to know whether they have foul intentions


  • However, if you do decide to meet with someone you have only met online, always inform someone of where you are going and always take a friend/family member with you. Always meet up in a very public place
Be careful when accepting emails, IM messages, or opening files, pictures or texts from people you don’t know or trust as it can lead to problems – they may contain viruses or offensive messages!

Websites aren’t always what they seem - be careful what you click on, just like individuals can lie online, some organisations and companies can also mislead you.
You can report online abuse to the police at CEOP or by using the police non-emergency number 10
Internet watch foundation

Further information about reporting criminal online content can also be found on the Internet Watch Foundation.
CEOP was set up as a national law enforcement agency focused on tackling the sexual abuse of children, especially in relation to the internet and with the principal aim of identifying, locating and safeguarding children and young people from harm.
Follow us on:
@ partnerships 1

@ Durham Constabulary