There have never been so many ways to communicate with your friends and family.
Now you can talk or text people on mobile phones, email people, send online messages in communities, join message boards and post your thoughts onto your very own web site.
But with new technology, there also come new problems and risks. Read on for a guide to modern day communications and how to stay safe.
Mobile phones have changed the way we live. They’ve even created a new form of language – which is ‘gr8!’. They can help you keep in touch with friends but they can also be really useful in case of an emergency.
Mobile phone safety is important, especially when you consider the following:
The majority of phone thefts are committed by gangs.
The peak age for offenders is 16.
The peak time for theft of mobiles belonging to people under the age of 18 is between 2pm and 10pm.
There are some basic safety tips you can follow:
Only make your mobile phone visible when you’re using it.
If you’re alone or unsure of your safety turn your mobile to a quiet setting so it won’t make any noises that can alert would-be thieves.
For more mobile phone safety tips, take a look at our list of recommended links.
Text messaging is an easy and convenient way of communicating. As well as keeping in touch with your friends, it can also come in handy when letting your parents know where you are. Unfortunately, SMS texting can have its drawbacks.
For example, you might always recognise the person who is texting you. If you receive a text from someone you don’t know, it’s usually a good idea not to reply. It’s also a fact of life that people can sometimes be bullied via SMS text. If this ever happens to you, it’s important that you tell someone. For more information on bullying by text, take a look at our list of useful links.
Email is a great way to communicate with your friends and family. Not only can you contact friends in your area, you can also keep in touch with people who live great distances away from you.
Most email services have a filter to separate junk mail from the messages that you do want to read. If you ever receive any dodgy emails, you should be able to place a block on that address to stop any further emails coming from that person. A good rule for email is that if you don’t recognise the sender of an email, delete it.
The same goes for weird email attachments and files too, because they can sometimes hide a virus. Don’t assume that an email attachment is completely safe because you have received it from a friend. If you’re not sure, contact your friend before opening the attachment.
Message boards and chat rooms
Internet message boards and chat rooms allow you to chat with friends and new people. Message boards can let you debate your favourite subjects and passions with other people in that community. Chat rooms allow you to have a faster, more instant conversation.
Taking part in message boards and chat rooms can be fun, but you also need to remember there are dangers. It’s important to be careful what you say in chat rooms, because you never know who is watching. There’s also no way you can be sure someone is who they say they are.
Chat rooms are generally best to be avoided, but if you are going to use them, there are some golden rules you should follow.
Never reveal any personal details, like your phone number or home address.
Never agree to physically meet up with someone from a chat room. There’s no way of checking who that person really is, so it’s best to avoid meeting up altogether.
For more information on internet and mobile phone safety, take a look at our list of recommended links.