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If you use social networking sites, chat rooms, virtual worlds, MSN, online gaming sites, etc:

  • Keep your passwords secure
  • Never give or display information that strangers could use to trace you
  • Don’t open attachments or files from people you don’t know/can’t trust
  • Don’t arrange to meet anyone you meet in chat rooms (or take a responsible adult along with you)

Are they really your friends?

Friends are people who you would trust with all your personal information. Would you give all the people in your friends list your name, age, address, birthday, your photos, videos, etc? Would you trust all the people in your friends list with your deepest thoughts, remarks you make about other people? If you wouldn't trust them then take them off your friends list.


  • Strong passwords contain between 7 and 16 characters
  • Combine 3 or 4 different types of characters (uppercase, lowercase, numerals, symbols)
  • Not be a common word or name
  • Must be remembered without writing down!

Computer safety

  • Install anti virus software update it regularly!
  • Consider installing monitoring software (like Sentinel) to keep an eye on your family

Protecting your identity

Can you make yourself invisible? From some simple pieces of information e.g. Jade Brown, age 17, Manchester, it can be relatively easy to find your address and even your telephone number. People can find you in the real world from the bits of information you leave in the virtual world

Do you know how big the Internet is?

  • There are at least a trillion websites
  • Google receives at least 400 million searches each day
  • MySpace has over 110 million monthly active users around the world
Think about how many people can see the information you post on the Internet!

What is personal information?

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your mobile/telephone numbers
  • Your email address
  • Your school
Did you know that search engines can now search for you using an image of your face? So personal information that can be used to trace you now includes photographs & videos.

Reducing Your Digital Footprint;

Are you invisible? Why not do a search for you or your family members on:

  • Search engine eg Google

Free people searches:


  • is one online directory that facilitates searches of the telephone directories, the electoral roll the register of births, marriages and deaths Company reports. If you are listed in here then other people can get your address, your date of birth, and even your telephone number. Multimap or Google maps then allows them to look at the house where you live. It is possible to remove your name from most of the lists that are used by

Remove your name from the telephone directory:

  • Go ex-directory. Contact your telephone company.
  • Remove your name from marketing lists: The Telephone Preference Service is a central opt out register where individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. If you wish to register with the Telephone Preference Service you can do so by visiting or by calling 0845 070 0707.
  • If you wish to register to reduce personally addressed unsolicited mailings please contact the Mailing Preference Service visiting or by calling on 0845 703 4599.
Remove your name from the Electoral Roll: Also known as the Voters Register, the Electoral Roll contains the names and addresses of almost every UK adult over the age of 18.
  • Make sure you tick the box on the voters registration form to remove your name from the next edited register.
  • Ring your local Council to get your name off the last edited register (you can’t be removed from the full register).
  • allows users to remove themselves for free from the Electoral Roll that is specifically published by  Download and complete the CO1 form and send it back to them. Alternatively you can write to them to request the removal of your personal details. Write to: The CO1 Requests Administrator, I-CD Publishing (UK) Limited, 8-10 Quayside Lodge, London, SW6 2UZ.
Think about your digital trail Would you leave your personal details lying on the pavement of your local shopping centre?
You might be using the internet for another 60 years or so—how much personal information will be lying around the Internet by then!
  • Close down any unused profiles on social networking sites.
  • Remove your name tag from images on other people’s sites.
  • Think before you upload your photo or video—who could download it?
  • Don’t post comments, videos or photos that could embarrass you in 10 or 20 years time.

Remember—once it is on the Internet it is very difficult to remove!!