Internet Safety

Digital Citizenship

It is possible for risky interactions to happen on the internet that might compromise your safety. Here are some terms you should know and some actions to take in the event that you feel unsafe online.


Risky: Something that is possibly harmful to a person's emotional or physical well-being

Stereotype: A widely held belief about a group of people, based on assumptions that are often false

Online predator: A commonly used term for someone who uses the Internet to develop inappropriate relationships with kids or teens

Manipulate: The act of trying to influence somebody to do something they might not otherwise do, for one’s own benefit

Take Action

Change it up. If something feels like it might be getting risky, it probably is. But if you’re not sure, try changing the subject, making a joke, or saying you want to talk about something else. If you still feel pressured by or uncomfortable with the situation, you need to take further action.

Log off or quit. You need to remember that at any time you can just stop typing and log off if a conversation gets uncomfortable online. You can also take action to block or report another user, or create a new account – whether for email, IM, or a virtual world – to avoid contact with that person again.

It’s okay to feel embarrassed or confused. It’s not always easy to make sense of situations that make you uncomfortable online. Nor is it easy to ask for help if you feel embarrassed about what you’ve experienced. These feelings are normal, and it’s okay to talk about them.

Talk to a friend or trusted adult. Don’t be afraid to reach out. Even if you feel you can handle a tricky situation alone, it’s always a good idea to turn to friends, parents, teachers, coaches, and counselors for support.


Come up with three polite but firm statements to say to a hypothetical person online who makes you feel uncomfortable.

Come up with at least two ways to approach a friend or a trusted adult for help with dealing with uncomfortable interactions with an online predator.


Scope & Sequence (2014). Retrieved October 30, 2014, from