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The internet is part of everyday life and has many positive benefits including keeping in touch with family and friends. However, it is important that the internet is used safely. At Sir Thomas Wharton Academy, we feel the following are important for students:

For self and others online. Be careful what you say and what images you share. Remember that once you send something, it becomes public and can last for ever. Sexting, or the possession and sharing of indecent images of children and young people who are under 18 is illegal.

Only give personal contact information to trusted friends and family. Know how to use privacy settings, how to block someone who is behaving badly, and how to keep records of offending messages, pictures and conversations. Make sure you use secure passwords for sites that you visit regularly and deactivate accounts when you stop using them - this reduces the risk of hacking.

People that you meet online are still strangers. Do not meet them without the knowledge of your parent/carer who should accompany you on a first meeting. Do not arrange to meet them in the company of your friends as you could be putting them at risk too. The other person should be taking the same precautions so you don’t need to worry about offending them.

Tell someone if you have been victim of unsafe activity on the internet or have come across suspicious behaviour. Tell an adult - this could be a parent/carer or someone in school - or make a report to CEOP, and the social network provider. If you are worried, you can ring ChildLine on 0800 1111.

Create a positive footprint. Make sure you share positive posts, vlogs and tweets, and celebrate the good things you have done.

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