Cybersafety
Online
Counselling
support
HOME TEENS I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT... SOCIAL NETWORKING AND ONLINE FRIENDS

Social networking and online friends

Are they my friends in real life too?


Chatting to friends using social networking or IM and chat are great ways to stay in touch and make new friends. However, you should always keep in mind that there are some risks meeting people online—especially if you don’t know them in real life.  When you share things online you may be sharing with other people you do not know or trust.  Once a message, photo or video has been shared, you won't be able to control where it goes.

Know the basics of safe social networking

  • Limit your friend list—don’t 'friend' random people
  • Protect your privacy—don’t share your password and set your profile to private
  • Your personal details are valuable—don’t share them
  • Protect your reputation—keep it clean and ask yourself: would you want others to see what you upload?
  • Be careful who you trust—a person can pretend to be someone they are not
  • Don't use a webcam with people you do not know
  • Think before you post, chat, upload or download.

Meeting online friends in the real world—do you know who you're really meeting?


If you want to arrange to meet an online friend, ask an adult or a trusted friend to go with you. Always meet in a public place, preferably during the day.

teenager on laptop 
Remember
If you want to talk about a problem with social networking or online friends, you can call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or visit their website.

Visit the Cybersmart Blog Cybersmart Blog

Seeking expert opinion? Have a point of view? Join the conversation!

Visit Kids helpline or call 1800 55 1800 Kids Helpline

Got a problem? Need to talk? Call Kids helpline.