Safety instructions for the internet

Online bullying

In online bullying, the bully is often anonymous or uses a fake name. It is good to remember that photos and videos uploaded on the internet can spread to a wider audience. Online bullying may be a crime and it can be reported to, for example, the internet police. Online bullying is most common among young people.

Online bullying includes, e.g.

  • Sending mocking, threatening or upsetting messages
  • Reproducing or distributing the content of online diaries without the person’s authorisation
  • Editing and distributing another person’s photos without authorisation
  • Distribution of bully sites or existing sites, such as “vote for the ugliest photo”
  • Presenting yourself with someone else’s name or nickname

Sexual exploitation of children online

Online harassment can involve, for example, sexual messages, such as requests for sexual acts and harassing suggestions. Online discussions and communication with a stranger may feel important to begin with. By doing this, the exploiter builds and strengthens confidence and thus promotes any possible exploitation. An adult guilty of sexual exploitation may also present him-/herself as a young person.

Exploitation may include harassment or sexual harassment; it can involve e.g. Luring someone into getting undressed in front of the camera and/or help the counter party satisfy themselves. A camera enables photos to be taken, which the exploiter may use to blackmail the victim to remain silent about what has happened. A young person who has become a victim of sexual exploitation may consider to have done something stupid, shameful, maybe even forbidden. The events should, however, be told to a safe adult. There is only ever one person to blame in cases of exploitation and that is the exploiter. Sexual exploitation is a crime and it is important to be reported to the police or via an online tip.

Harassment does not need to be taken online either!

  • Say NO!
  • Leave – turn off the computer.
  • Tell a reliable adult.

Internet etiquette – safety instructions on using the internet

  • Never disclose your contact details to anyone on discussion forums. Many believe that they cannot be tricked by their discussion partner, but it is possible. It doesn’t just happen to others.
  • Think carefully about the type of photos you place on internet pages. Photos on the internet are available to others, and part of the photos end up on inappropriate sites or as images for someone, who uses them to change their identity on discussion forums.
  • The law forbids recording or listening to another person’s intimate life, presenting unjustified statements and unfaming another person. Using a mobile phone to record at a home party or restaurant is not allowed without the permission of everyone who is present. Sharing them via phone or internet also requires each person’s permission.
  • Do not arrange to meet any online acquaintances, at least not without telling someone where you are going to meet and at what time. Do not go to the meeting, if you are even slightly doubtful or frightened of your online friend. Don’t go even if the feeling doesn’t come until when you meet. You should agree to meet in a public place, where there are other people. Do not meet a person alone, if you have only met him/her online.  Take a friend with you.
  • When browsing the internet, you may end up on a page, which are distressing and remain in your mind. Tell about it to a reliable person.
  • It is forbidden for under 18-year-olds to visit pornographic sites. Think about your responsibility for other people. Some of the pornography business “stars” have been forced to work. There are also children around the world, who are used on pornography sites to grow an adult’s money box.
  • All information that is found online is not true. Even researched information should not be fully relied on. Fancy studies, particularly in respect of sexuality, may be complete stories. Remember media criticality.
  • If you experience something unpleasant, dare to tell about it.