Q & A
How do I know if I’ve been hacked? How can I stop myself getting hacked?
If your computer or phone is attacked by a virus or malware you might find your computer is running slowly, or things might be behaving strangely in your web-browser. For example, you might find your computer suddenly opens new windows or pop-ups without you asking it to.
Pop ups and some other types of adverts can install malware on a computer without you knowing- this type of issue is commonly reported where people have visited certain websites, such as porn sites.
Make sure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up-to-date, and don’t turn it off – even if you think it might speed up a game! You can find advice on blocking pop-ups and other adverts here.
Learn more about how to keep your information secure here.
I’ve been playing online games and people keep sending me links to other gaming sites they say I’d enjoy. Should I click the link?
You need to be careful when people send you links to other websites as you cannot be certain whether the link is actually what you think it is. You should only click on links from those who you trust, and even then, if it seems like something they wouldn’t usually send you check with the sender first. Sometimes people may send you what looks like a link to another game which is actually a computer virus which infects your computer when clicked. You won’t know your computer had been infected until it was too late, which is why it’s important to make sure you trust the sender before opening a link.
If a link you’ve been sent asks you to enter login details for a social network – maybe your Facebook login details – stop and think carefully before entering them. Your account could be hacked and taken over with this information.
Read more about checking links here.
Find out more on how to game safely here.
Is it ok to play online games against people I don’t know?
Playing online games against people from all over the world can be very exciting and fun. Like anything in life, things can go wrong but if you follow a few simple steps you can make sure that you’re gaming safely.
- You shouldn’t give out your personal information (such as your name, address and your school in online games) as you have no idea who may see this information.
- Don’t post any pictures of yourself or videos of you in your living room or bedroom playing the games – read our page on webcams to find out why.
- Don’t give out passwords to any of your accounts.
- If you’re in a game where someone does something to worry or upset you then block them, leave the game or talk to an adult you trust.
- Don’t agree to go from an online game to a private instant message conversation.
- If someone tries to swap cheats or anything relating to a game in exchange for pictures of you then report them to CEOP.
Find out more on how to game safely here.
Why do I have to be 13 to use most chatrooms, apps or social media websites? Will I get in trouble if I lie?
The age-restriction is there to protect you from being contacted by people older than you, from seeing things that could be upsetting and from sharing information you might regret later. More information on why social sites can be unsafe for young people under 13 and how to stay safe if you are using social sites is available here.
If you’re planning on using a social network, you should talk to a parent or carer beforehand.
You can ask them to check that you’re protecting your personal details by going through and checking your privacy settings. They also can add their own email address so that they will be notified about what’s happening on the account.
If you both set up the account it means that you will both know how the site works, how to report and how to get help about anything that’s worrying you. Your parent or carer can get some more information and advice here.
My friend has downloaded a game which they’ve bought from the app-store and their dad received a large bill at the end of the month. How can I make sure that this doesn’t happen to me?
Some games and apps are free and some you have to pay for. Even for games that are free, it is important to makes sure you read and understand the ‘terms and conditions’ when you download or first start playing a game. Get a parent carer or trusted adult to help – they should help you look out for:
- Extra charges after a ‘trial period’
- Extra charges to access additional in game content
- Additional charges for download of data during games
Find out more on how to game safely.