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Be #ShareAware on social media. A short guide for young people

23 January 2015, Peter Morton, Head of Communications
ShareAware campaign NSPCC ChildLine PhonepayPlus

Supporting the #ShareAware campaign launched by the NSPCC

Using social media as a young person is very entertaining, a way to follow your favourite celebrities and shows and hang out with your friends. But like most things, social media can have its drawbacks; however as long as you stay mindful of a few guidelines, you can use it safely and responsibly and have a great time. Here is what to watch out for when social sharing:

Photos or videos
Even if it starts as a joke and no harm is intended, sharing [inappropriate] photos or videos of yourself or others can become a slippery slope. Once a photo is shared online you can’t control what happens next to it, due to the viral nature of social media channels. Play this short video on how this can happen.

Phone numbers
Treat your phone like a wallet and don’t enter your mobile number unless you know how it will be used. Goods and services can be bought via your phone number, such as apps or upgrading to the next level in mobile games. To avoid bill shock, check with the bill payer first before entering your number anywhere.
Your mobile number can also end up in the wrong hands and be used for example for bullying or sharing inappropriate messages, images or videos.
Adverts & Spam messages
Whether you see adverts on your news feed or messages in your private inbox that seem to have been sent by your friends, they are not always as they may seem; this is called ‘spam’. Spam is automated messages made to look like recommendations or message sent by your friends, but in reality they aren’t.

If you engage with them, they might incur charges, download unwanted viruses on your device or access your personal information.
Be careful when you share your location, whether it’s home, school or a place you’re hanging out with your friends at as new people and even strangers can access it.

To find out more about using your smartphone or tablet and what you should watch out for online, please visit PhoneBrain.

For extra help: Remember that you can speak to an adult that you trust, like a parent or a relative in case you have any questions or concerns. ChildLine can also help with any issue you might have in a confidential manner. This is a service run by the NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children), a leading children's charity in the UK.

ChildLine is always open - call 0800 1111 anytime

*Call free on 0800 1111. Calls are confidential and won’t appear on your home phone bill. You can also use mobiles. Calls from 3 (Three), BT Mobile, EE, O2, Orange, T Mobile, Virgin or Vodafone mobiles won't show up on the phone bill either.
**Image credit ©NSPCC 

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