In today's digital age it is incredibly important to be aware of the risks that young people face when using social media like Facebook or Twitter, playing games online or even when simply sharing a photo or video with others. Every student in their first year at The Appleton School is taught a comprehensive eSafety course which covers all aspects of eSafety including the risks to their physical safety, their computer and their personal information. As part of the certified qualification they are also taught how to reduce the risk and what to do if they are unhappy or unsure about anything they encounter online.

Here are some widely recognised tips we should all consider when using ICT. For further advice and ways in which you can support your child, please visit CEOP or thinkUknow.

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1. Always think of your personal safety first when using ICT or your mobile phone. Remember it is easy for anyone to lie about who they are online, so you can never really be sure about who you are talking to.  

2. Do not give out any personal information about yourself online to people you do not know. This includes your full name, address, street name, postcode, or school name. Only ever give out your location as Essex or somewhere completely different.  

3. Never give your contact number to anyone who you don't know.  

4. It's a good idea to use a nickname rather than your real name.  

5. Don't meet people that you have only spoken to online. If you do decide to meet up with anyone in real life then make sure you take a trusted adult with you and meet in a public place at a busy time.  

6. Never give out pictures online or over a mobile unless you know the person in real life. It is easy for people to take your pictures and alter them, send them on, or even pretend to be you with them.  

7. Always use private settings whenever you are setting up a social networking page or an Instant Messenger (IM) account. This is so people who you don't want to see your profile can't.  

8. Anything you post or upload to the internet is there forever so be very careful what you put online.  

9. Never go onto webcam with people you don't know in real life. Webcam images can be recorded and copied and also shared with other people.  

10. If you receive any messages or pictures that worry or upset you talk to an adult you trust. You may also report it online, via the thinkuknow or CEOP website via the links below.

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