Q & A
Someone’s taken over my account on a social network, how do I get it back?
You need to contact that social network – most of the main sites have advice for people whose accounts have been hacked. They should be able to help you get your account back.
You can keep your social network accounts safer by not sharing your passwords with people, and not leaving your phone or computer unlocked so other people can use them. Read more about staying secure online here.
How can I take down rude pictures of me once they’ve been posted on a website?
Look for any ways to report the picture on the website. Most websites will have a way that you can report content to them for removal, there might be a ‘report’ button near the image or a link in their ‘safety’ area. Further information about contacting social sites to remove content is available here. Get an adult to help you if you can’t find them. You may also be able to report the person posting the pictures to the website.
If it’s a naked or nearly naked image of someone under 18 then it’s an 'indecent' image and the website has to remove it. Some sites may give you the option to report an image or video as child abuse, and others may just remove anything that is sexual or pornographic. If there isn’t an easy way to report to the website you can phone ChildLine on 0800 1111 who will report the site to the Internet Watch Foundation who will get the website to take the picture down.
If someone is posting naked pictures of you to bully or blackmail you, then they are committing a crime. You should talk to a trusted adult to help you stop the person sharing any more.
Someone’s made a fake profile for me on a website - they’re saying things about me and being rude to other people. What can I do?
Most websites will have information about how to report fake profiles. Look on their help and advice pages. Most websites also 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’.
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. You can find out where to report on different sites here
You should also contact your friends to tell them the account is fake.
You can also speak to a ChildLine counsellor at anytime on 0800 1111.
All my friends are sending each other pictures that I’m worried will get us in trouble. I don’t want to get involved, but I don’t want to be the only one in the group not doing it. What should I do?
Try not to feel under pressure to do things you don’t want to do. If your friends are sending pictures which you’re worried about then they could be putting their futures at risk as well as getting into trouble with their schools or, even the police – read more here.
Things that people have posted or shared on the internet can stay online for a long time – if it’s something that makes you look bad it could make you a target for bullies, have to change schools or just be really upsetting for you at some time in the future.
Pressure from friends can be difficult to ignore, if you feel worried then you should talk to a teacher at school or a parent, carer or an adult that you trust and see if they can help.
Can I get in trouble for lying online?
If you’re lying by pretending to be someone else or to bully them, or spreading nasty rumours about people online then, yes, you could get into serious trouble.
If you’re leaving out some things about you to protect yourself, your friends and your family then that’s okay!
If you’re on a social network where most people are anonymous then you probably shouldn’t tell everyone on the site everything there is to know about you. You should try not to reveal personal things about you to people you’ve never met before.