Actually, we know you’re probably more likely to tell someone else. And that’s absolutely fine. The really important thing is that you tell someone you trust and who can help you. But remember - we are always here if you need us and we can keep you safe.
Information for young people
We hope that by sharing the ways criminals could try to gain your trust we are helping you to spot the signs of exploitation so you can talk to a trusted adult as soon as possible
There is a lot of useful information on this page about the signs to look out for, who to talk to if you’re worried and where you can get help
Online exploitation can affect anyone, of any gender, from any community. Please remember, if you are approached by someone who wants to exploit you in any way, it is never your fault
Please remember – if you are in immediate danger you should always contact the police by calling 999
What are the risks online
You never know who you are talking to
You don’t always know who you are talking to online
Unless you can see the person (not just a still image of them), hear them and you know them in real life, it’s difficult to be sure that the person you are messaging is really who you think they are
Because social media is “always on” you can be constantly bombarded with messages
This pressure can then be used as a way to watch, coerce and control what you do
Log out – give yourself space to breathe and think. If you are worried – talk to someone you trust. There are more links to support on this page
Because you don’t always know who you’re talking to you also don’t always know who you’re sending that selfie to
Sometimes a criminal will pressure you to send a nude selfie or other indecent picture or share sensitive information which they will then use to force you into sexual or criminal activity
Remember you should never do anything which makes you uncomfortable. If you aren’t sure talk to someone you trust or contact one of the support organisations listed on this page
Criminals will also use any information – including pictures – you share about yourself publicly to get to know you and pretend to be a friend you can trust
Once they “befriend” you, they can groom and manipulate you into sexual or criminal activity. Again you should never feel pressured into something you don’t want to do. If you are worried – talk to someone
Information for parents
What can I do to help protect my child?
There are things you can do to help protect your children from online exploitation.
Check games content and features (Is it appropriate? Will they have online access?)
Remember to use privacy and parental controls
Turn location settings off in mobile apps
Make an agreement with your child about time online and stick to it.
What signs should I look out for that my child could be being exploited?
If you are a parent or carer the following might indicate that a child needs help:
Talking about older/new friends they’ve met online.
When you’re in love it’s difficult to see warning signs that your relationship might be dangerous. So if you see a friend being made to do things for presents, alcohol or drugs, talk to an adult you trust #LookSusTellUs
Not everyone you meet on social media is who they say they are. If an online conversation starts to make you uncomfortable, talk to an adult you trust #LookSusTellUs
Warning signs - being asked your age and other personal info