What can you do to keep safe in chat rooms online?

Websites like Facebook, Bebo and Twitter are really popular as places for people to chat to friends and meet new ones but you can't always be sure who you're speaking to.

There are things that you can do, though, to use chatrooms safely. For example;

  • Don't give out any personal information like your full name, address or school name.
  • Remember that people you meet over the internet might not be who they say they are. Some adults may pretend to be children and try and persuade young people to meet with them.
  • If situations online become hostile or provocative don't respond to them, log off and surf elsewhere.

What can you do to keep safe when shopping online?

The internet has already established itself as a worldwide market place where you can buy pretty much anything you want. But lots of people are still not sure how safe it is to use credit or debit cards while shopping on-line so here are some tips;

  • Always use secure sites when shopping online. Look for the padlock symbol.
  • Always confirm delivery guarantees and check the return and refund policy.
  • Always keep back ups and printouts of all online documentation.
  • Never disclose your card or bank details as proof of identity or age.
  • Only transmit your financial details by secure email i.e. through a secure website or encrypt the message.
  • Always check bank statements carefully for discrepancies. If you find transactions you haven't made, contact the retailer and your card issuer as a matter of urgency.

How to keep safe your passwords?

We are often asked these days to create a password that will allow us to log onto websites, do our banking on line or set up an on-line shopping account. Here are some tips for password safety;

  • Don't ever write your password down;
  • Never share your password with anybody;
  • Make sure no two passwords you use are the same;.
  • Use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and punctuation;
  • Avoid entering your password into a computer that isn't your own;
  • Change your password at least every 4 months.

Key contact

Lancashire constabulary

Visit the Lancashire Constabulary website 

See also

Child exploitation online protection centre

The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is dedicated to eradicating the sexual abuse of children.  Find out more

Get Safe Online is a Government led initiative which provides free, independent, user-friendly advice that will allow computer users to use the internet confidently, safely and securely.  Find out more


Thinkuknow website is an education programme operated by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre which is dedicated to helping young people to go on the internet in a safe way.  Find out more