Advice for young people

Cyber safe settings and procedures

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If you have been receiving unwanted messages or experiencing cyber bullying, you don't have to put up with it. Take control of who can contact you.

Below are a collection of links with all the information you need to get back in control of your phone and online accounts. We have included the most common service providers, but if you think something is missing, or a link is not doing what it should be, please let us know by emailing

Social media

Controlling your visibility and privacy 

Privacy settings allow you to control who is able to see what you post online. We advise that you keep profiles private, so only people you know and trust are able to access your account. Click on the links below for instructions on how to utilise privacy settings on the leading platforms. 

Tumblr blogs are public by default, so anything you post will be seen by the whole world. If you want something a little more private, there are many other social media sites available with security features. Otherwise, if you are using Tumblr, make sure your posts are safe, and you think before you post. 

Blocking users

Once you have blocked a user, not only will you no longer receive any messages or comments from them, they won't even be able to search for your profile or see comments you have made on mutual friends' walls - making you invisible to them online. Click on the links below for instructions on how to block users on the leading platforms.

Reporting cyber bullying and offensive comments or material

If you are experiencing cyber bullying, or see it happening to somebody else, it is important that you always tell an adult first. However, to get content removed and to prevent users from continuing their abusive behaviour, you should also report comments to the website administrators. Click on the links below for instructions on how to report to the administrators of the leading platforms. 

To report incidents or abuse on tumblr, email them directly at Information on what they think is unacceptable behaviour can be found here.

Reporting impersonation or a hacked account

Impersonation is when someone has made an account pretending to be you. Hacking is when someone may have gained access to your personal account, and is logging in without your consent. If you have been hacked, make sure that you change all the passwords to your online accounts. Click on the links below for instructions on how to report impersonation or a hacked account on the leading platforms. 

Email accounts

You can stop emails from reaching your inbox through blocking specific senders. We also advise that you have more than one email address so you don't mix personal messages and potential spam. 

Phone providers

To report abuses to a phone provider, call their general customer services number. But please note, while there are some ways in which they can help, there are limitations to be aware of.

Most phone service providers will not be able to:

  • give you the number of a withheld caller without a police crime reference number. Even then, these details will usually be communicated directly to the police on your behalf;
  • block specific numbers. If you continually receive malicious calls or texts, providers can only offer a change of number. However, it is usually possible to block a number from the call management features on your mobile handset;
  • investigate a telephone number once it has been changed. Please be aware that in most cases, malicious calls or messages to an old number cannot be investigated. Only change your number once you are satisfied with the outcome of a complaint.

Reporting grooming, sexual images or abuse

If you have experienced online abuse of a sexual nature or someone suspicious is trying to meet up with you, you should report it directly to the Child Exploitation & Online Protection Centre. You can also report to them if a sexual image or video of you has been shared online, as they have some power in getting it removed.

Related articles

Dealing with cyber bullying
Think before you post
Staying safe on social media

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