Texting is a great way of staying in touch with friends and family, but sometimes people send nasty messages which can be mean and upsetting.
They can be from people you know, and also from people you don’t know.
- It’s a good idea not to reply to a nasty message and if you get a message that upsets you, you should always tell a trusted adult. You should also remember that when you send messages, you should be responsible and not send something that might upset anyone.
Sometimes people send junk text messages that are like adverts to people’s mobile numbers, and these are called Spam messages. In the Cyber Café, Chloe has two messages on her mobile phone from people she doesn’t know so she deletes these messages and tells an adult. You should do this too if you receive a text message from someone you don’t know.
- Remember - never reply to a spam text message or text message from someone you don’t know, as the person who has sent may keep on sending messages to you. The messages may also have viruses in them and this can stop your phone from working.
When you send a picture to a friend using your mobile phone, this is called MMS.
- You should never send a picture message to anyone you don’t know in the real world - even if you have been talking to them online and think you know them, or someone you have met through a friend. You never really know who they are if you haven’t met them face to face. If someone asks you to send them a picture message and you don’t know who they are, you should tell a trusted adult.
- Never give your mobile number to anyone who you don’t know in the real world. People sometimes lie about who they are to trick people into giving them their mobile number and personal details, like their school and where they live. Remember that people you don’t know in the real world are still strangers.
If you give people your mobile number, even people you have met using the internet, remember you do not really know who they are. Never arrange to meet up with them as they are strangers.
- Never arrange to meet up with someone you don’t know and always tell a trusted adult and save the message.
You can change your ringing tone on your phone, as well as the message tone. There are a number of ways you can do this - from using the tones that are already saved to the phone, to downloading tones from the internet and also by getting tones sent to you.
- Remember that to get these tones from the internet or from messaging, it will cost you money so you need to make sure that the tone you download or order is the right one, otherwise you may end up paying for a tone you don’t want.
This is something that Chloe has to be careful about when she chooses her ringing tone in Cyber Café. You also need to be careful if you download a tone, as sometimes people disguise a virus as a ring tone. Sometimes companies will keep sending tones to you, even if you don’t want them. They will still charge you for every tone you get, and this is how they make money. If this happens, you should speak to your provider (like Orange or T-Mobile) and they will be able to get you a number to text, to stop the tones coming through. You should ask a trusted adult to help you if you are worried.