Be Connected, Be Safe on the Internet

Watch out for social media age requirements.
Many social media sites, including Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, have rules that say you have to be at least 13 years old to create an account. Ask for permission from your parents first. These rules are there to help keep you safe and should be followed.

Don’t add strangers to your network.
You wouldn’t let a stranger into your house, and you shouldn’t let them into your personal life either. It’s easy for someone to pretend they’re someone they’re not. Think carefully before accepting a friend request.

Keep private info private.
There are some things that not everyone needs to know or see—things like where you live, your phone number, private pictures and where you go to school should not be shared online, especially with strangers. If someone asks you for anything you don’t think you should share, say no or don’t respond.

Don’t believe everything you see and read.
When browsing online, you’re sure to come across some ads and news stories that aren’t true. They might try to trick you into doing something that you shouldn’t.

Set Privacy Settings.
Social media sites have many settings that can control what sort of things people can see. You can make it so that only your friends and family can find you online. Ask a trusted adult to help you with this.

Filters aren’t just for pictures.
Just like there are things that you don’t want other people to see, there are things that you don’t want to see. You can have a trusted adult help you set up filters on your account so you don’t accidentally see something that’s upsetting.

Don’t Cyberbully!
Bullying is bad, whether it’s online or IRL. If anyone is bullying you online, tell a trusted adult and block whoever is being unkind to you. Treat people the way you would want them to treat you, just like you would do anywhere else.

Try the original social network.
The best way to be social is to turn off your device and get outside. There is so much to do, and you can have fun and learn new things with your friends. An adventure is worth a thousand “likes”!

Help is never far away
If you are feeling unsafe online, call the Kids Help Line at 1-800-668-6868. For more information on online youth safety, please visit cybertip.ca or kidshelpphone.ca.

Check out Scouts Canada’s other safety tips to prepare for your next great, safe Scouting adventure!

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