Millions of people all over the world use social networking sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to meet, chat and message each other on the internet. But how safe is it to share personal information like this and how can you protect your privacy and stay safe?One of the great things about social networking sites is that you can share information with many people very easily and fast. But remember that anything you post may be seen by lots more people than you may think. Whether you are using a networking site or just chatting on a forum, the chances are you are putting personal information online. Once it’s out there you may not be able to control what happens to it. This could pose a risk to your privacy or even your personal safety.Pupils would cover Social Networking in ICT from JS1 to SS3.Posting OnlineMost sites allow you to create a profile for yourself. This can be as simple as a username and contact email address, or it may include a photo, a description of you, likes and dislikes, music and videos. It may also link in to your online friends’ profiles. It could be seen by thousands of people and not everyone will agree with what you write.When posting on websites it’s also worth thinking about the impression you’re creating – would the things you write or the pictures you post cause embarrassment in real life? How would you feel if a potential employer or your parents saw things that you posted?Be cautious!Be careful about the personal details you post online. Little bits of information can be used by others to build up a picture of you that could be misused. Don’t reveal your home address, telephone number, date of birth or where you work to strangers.Keep your password safe and avoid obvious ones that others may guess, particularly if you also use it for other things. It’s also worth having a separate email address just for social networking so you don’t have to give away any other contact details.Privacy settings.Any decent social networking website should have clear and visible privacy settings. They can usually be accessed from the homepage of your account, along with other generalGREENLAND HALL SOCIAL NETWORK GUIDEoptions. You can adjust privacy settings to control who can see your information, and howmuch they can see.CyberbullyingBy using technology like mobiles or the internet, this type of bullying can affect someone notjust at school, but at home as well. Because it takes place in the virtual world, it has a 24/7nature and can make someone feel upset or threatened in their own home.It can sometimes be hard to identify who the cyberbully is because they could block theirnumber or post things on a website anonymously. The nature of this type of bullying means itcan have a large audience, many of whom may not even realise they are being bullies.A positive thing about this kind of bullying is that it can be evidenced. With normal bullying,it can be one person’s word against another’s, but with cyberbullying you can save texts orprint our emails / IM’s / Webpages. This can be used as proof to catch the bully and stopthem upsetting someone; this could be you or a friend.Please also refer to the school’s bullying policy.What you can do to stop bullyingSave all evidence you have of the bullying. If you have nasty emails or things posted on yourprofile save them to your machine (computer, phone etc.) so you can use it as proof. Savetexts or voicemails that say anything horrible. Learn how to block the bully on IM or deletethem from your contacts.TRY NOT TO REPLY OR RETALIATE TO THINGS THEY SAY OR DO; IT MIGHTMAKE THE SITUATION WORSE. IF YOU DON’T RESPOND, THEY ARE MORELIKELY TO GET BORED AND MOVE ON.If you are being bothered via text, contact your service provider. Each network has a specialarea for this sort of problem. Check out their website or call them for advice or a free numberchange. Other forms of bullying, you can contact the guidance and counsel unit in the schoolimmediately or report to a teacher.