Q & A

  • What’s a strong password?

    When choosing a password, it is advisable not to use ones which lots of people use such as sequences of numbers or letters e.g. 123456, QWERTY or Password! Similarly, you shouldn’t use easily identifiable passwords such as your name. A strong password combination usually consists of a mixture of letters (capitals and lower case), numbers and symbols. To keep passwords secure you shouldn’t share them with anyone, even your best friend. It is also a good idea to use different passwords for each of your online accounts.

  • Some naked photos of me come up in Google – how do I get my name and the pics taken off the search results when people Google me?

    In order to remove an image from Google search results, the image must first be removed from the website where it is hosted. You should contact the particular website which the image is on using their reporting tools. If they don’t have a reporting tool, you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111 and ask them to report the site to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) who work to remove indecent images of children from the internet. Once the image has been removed from the site, after some time (the search engine needs to ‘forget’ this search result) it will soon stop appearing in Google search results.

  • Someone at school has put pictures of me I don’t like on this website – how can I get them taken down?

    If you find a picture of you on a website which you didn’t want to be shared publicly, then there are steps you can take to get the image removed.

    Most websites have a way for you to ask them to remove ‘content’ – like videos, pictures, comments or profiles – that upsets you. This is called making a ‘report’.

    It’s important to know that making a report doesn’t mean the content will definitely be removed. Websites will only take content down if it breaks the website’s ‘terms of use’. You can find out how to report on different sites here.

    Just like in school, most websites have a set of rules which they expect people using their site to obey. If you want to have something taken down from a site you should check to see if it breaks one of their rules.

    Unfortunately, some websites are not as reliable as others and may not have clear reporting tools. In that case if it’s an ‘indecent’ image you can call ChildLine on 0800 1111. They work with the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) to get indecent images of young people deleted from the internet. You could also speak to somebody that you trust (e.g. a parent/carer, teacher) as a crime may have been committed. This might feel embarrassing or difficult at first but they will be aware that this happens and be able to help you.

    Find out more about how to stay in control of the pictures and videos you share here.

  • What counts as physical abuse?

    Physical abuse in a relationship is when someone is physically violent or threatening towards you. This can come in many forms for example hitting, kicking, slapping and pushing you around. If this happens to you it is wrong and you should seek help.

    Learn more about abuse in relationships here.

  • How can I stop myself from getting in trouble for the things I’ve shared online ages ago?

    It is important to remember that when you post or upload things to the internet, it is very difficult to stay in control of what happens to it. Things can spread very easily and what may have seemed like a good idea at the time, can seem foolish or embarrassing in the future, or even get you into trouble. Some people have even been refused jobs and college places because somebody has researched their name online and not liked what they have seen. The best thing to do is to always think before you upload or post anything on the internet.

    But, if you have uploaded something which you regret, it’s not too late to do something about it. You can often remove content from social networks via the settings menu of that particular service. It is also possible to limit the audience for the things you share, for example, allow only your friends to see things that you share online. However, you should still be careful as you’re unable to control who your friends share it with.

    Find out more about the risks and how to take control of your reputation online here.