It’s fun and safe online as long as you remember a just a few things. Don’t believe everything you see. Think twice before you share, and check the facts.

Check the facts

If you suspect a piece of news or a video to be fake, run a quick check.

  • is this information or an opinion. Who wrote this?
  • google it to see if you can find it on other sources, too. You can also search photos. Can you find the same photo attached to other news items?
  • is the information up to date? For example, scientific advances are rapid and things can get distorted by uploading outdated information.
  • is the source reliable?
  • do faces on the video look somehow weird? Is the body of the person on the video somehow different? Can you spot weird flickering? If yes, the video is likely a deep fake.
  • does the video or photo seem too good to be true? If yes, then it most likely is fake. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Nowadays it may be almost impossible to say if a photo or video is real or fake. If it seems suspicious, don’t share it.

Think twice before you share

It is notoriously difficult to get content off the internet once it has been uploaded. So, it is worth your while to think twice if some of the photos or videos should be shared with a closed group only, or to keep your account private. Don’t make your personal details, such as address or phone number, public. Photos may easily end up in wrong hands, which can cause a lot of upset later. So, think twice what you share and with whom.

Everyone must have edited a selfie or a photo of a mate at some point. It may be fun but you should be careful when editing somebody else’s photos because someone may end up feeling bullied by this. Sometimes photos can be edited to portray sexual poses by attaching someone’s face on a pornographic image, or by adding sexually charged emoji. Images of this kind may deeply offend another person and these images should not be spread. If you spread sexually offensive images to a large group of friends, you might end up having to pay compensation.

You must not share nude images of children. Spreading such images of minors may be illegal so do not share them. It is important to let an adult know if you come across nude images of children on WhatsApp or other communication channels.

How to deal with requests to contact by strangers?

Most of the time it is safe and fun to browse the net and use gaming platforms. It is still good to acknowledge that anyone can set up a fake profile online. Getting in touch online is also easy; you may have received unwanted messages from strangers yourself. It is always good to let an adult know if you receive messages from total strangers. Keep these tips in mind:

  1. Safeguard your privacy. Don’t send strangers selfies, other images or videos.
  2. If you end up messaging with strangers, don’t tell them anything personal.
  3. Let an adult know if any messages make you feel uneasy.

Recognize grooming, which means an adult trying to get in touch with a minor to a sexual purpose.

If a stranger is persistently trying to get you to chat and/or share your images, he or she may:

  • bombard you with messages, and ask you to keep the conversations a secret.
  • try to steer you from gaming platforms to private channels
  • tell you how nice you look and ask if you have ever kissed anyone
  • ask you to share your secrets or personal information, such as where you live, or where you go to school
  • ask you to keep in touch all the time and constantly report your whereabouts
  • send sexual messages and/or pornographic imagery
  • threaten and distort you to send sexual images of yourself
  • threaten to post or share your images over the internet, or to show them to people you know if you don’t agree to send more
  • threaten you with violence

If anyone approaches you in a way that makes you suspicious, let an adult know. You can also report it anonymously on Nettivihje.fi.

For more tips on how to be safe online, visit: turvallisestiverkossa.fi (in Finnish)