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Web Safety - our guide to keeping safe online...

Be safe online
This page outlines Clare-UK's general safety guidelines. These are both tips for kids and teenagers as well as guidelines for parents and adults. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however following these guidelines will assist you and your family to keep safe on the Internet. As in the real community, use your common sense when online and if you are not sure about something... stop and get advice before proceeding.

Keep your personal information safe
Don't be afraid of using the Profile features in online services such as Chat or Forums as they enrich discussions and let other users know who's 'behind the post'. However, remember information in your Profile is meant to give other users a background to what you post or chat about, not specific personal information. We recommend that you do not give out your name or the address or phone number of your home, workplace or school. If you do disclose personal information online, it could be collected and used by third parties to send you unsolicited materials.

Supplying your email address online
As well as the obvious dangers of giving out your phone number or address, please be wary of giving out your email address. If you do give out your email address, don't open emails from people you don't know. In particular, do not open emails with attachments from people you don't know, as these could potentially be carrying viruses or other harmful programs. Ensure that your computer has up-to-date email virus protection just in case. You could even set up 'Webmail' style email addresses, for example Yahoo Mail, HotMail, GMail etc... you can then use these email addresses solely for online communications.

Meeting people offline
We advise that you do not meet other users offline. When you are online, it is very easy for people to pretend to be someone they're not. If you are absolutely sure who they are, and decide to meet them, please do not do so without doing the following:

Under 18s:

  • Always ask your parent(s) or guardian(s) first
  • Ask your parent(s) or guardian(s) to go with you
  • Always meet in a public place of your choice

Over 18s:

  • Get a friend to accompany you
  • Always tell someone you trust about where, when, and who you are meeting
  • Tell your friend, flatmate etc when you should be expected back
  • Always meet in a public place of your choice

Receiving unpleasant or uncomfortable messages
If you've received any unpleasant messages from another online user, or one that makes you feel uncomfortable, do not reply to it. Most good online products will let you block that user so you don't have to see any of their other messages. If you of your family do experience a problem that you feel should be reported, see the link below.

Reporting online abuse
Thankfully online abuse is still very rare, however if you of your family do experience a problem that you feel should be reported, you can do so at the following website: The Internet Watch Foundation

Further assistance
The NetSmart Rules are guidelines aimed at children to help them stay safe online. O2 have also put together some useful advice which includes accessing the internet on today’s smart phones, you can find their info here: O2 Keeping Kids Safe. Check out the links below for more information about content filters and parental control software to create a safer online environment for you and your children:

Please Note:The links provided on this page are to external websites that Clare-UK has no control of. Although links are provided to parental control software sites, these are not affiliated to Clare-UK or recommendations by Clare-UK, they are merely a list of available software. Clare-UK has provided this information in good faith and cannot be held responsible in any way for any claims made against Clare-UK as a direct or indirect result of the information provided.