Online groomers use the internet to chat with children and young people. They can make their victims believe that they are friends, but they have bad things on their mind. For example, they can pressure a child or young person to send them naked pictures or do something criminal. Sometimes they will pretend to be someone else - they could say that they are a child, but in reality they may be much older.
Check your privacy settings and make sure that only your friends can see your social media profiles.
Don’t share your personal details online, for example your real name, location, school, or age.
Sometimes it might feel like we actually know someone we have only met online. Even if you have shared many chats and laugh with someone for weeks or months, remember that it's very easy to pretend to be someone else when hiding behind a screen. Don't risk it - never meet up with someone that you only know online.
When a stranger sends you a message or a friend request, it’s best to delete it. When someone makes you feel uncomfortable, report them or block them.
Sometimes online groomers can be people from your online world – even family members.
Groomers will work very hard to make you feel safe and comfortable. That is why you might not even realize that somebody is trying to harm you. But you can recognize a groomer if that person is asking you to keep it a secret!
Tell a trusted adult, and know that you won't get in trouble. It’s not your fault if you’re being groomed. There are people that can help you out of the situation.
If you feel safe doing so, you can start by telling the groomer to stop.
A groomer might continue messaging you and make threats. But you can take control of the situation - stop responding and block them.
Tell a trusted adult if someone makes you feel uncomfortable. Remember, you won’t get in trouble - even if the groomer says that you will. You can also contact Childhelp or report the behavior to to the NCMEC Cybertipline. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.