Dodging digital dangers

February 22, 2017 8:48 am

The internet can be a wonderful place – a huge source of information and a fabulous and convenient way to communicate and make new friends. For people with learning disabilities, and particularly communication disorders such as Asperger’s and Autism, it can also be much easier than face to face communication as there are no facial expressions, body language or tone of voice to decode. Plus the advent of the emoji provides additional clarification on how things are meant. ☺

But there are risks. Our last blog post addressed our approach to positive risk taking and helping the people we support to use the internet safely is part of that. At Frontier, we’re keen that the people we work with are supported to take as much control for their own lives as possible. But we can’t ignore the fact that people with learning difficulties are more vulnerable to online dangers so we were delighted to come across these top tips for keeping safe online. Produced by Safer Net – a national Network of groups and campaigners, who want to support people with learning disabilities to stay safe when using the internet – we’ll be incorporating them into our…what???

  1. Enjoy the internet! Computers are a great way to meet new people, chat with friends, watch videos, play games and have fun. So if you haven’t used the internet before and you’re a bit scared, ask someone to help you
  2. Remember almost everything you do on the internet can be seen by other people – so be careful what you say. And think before you type!
  3. Keep your passwords private – and don’t share them with anyone else.
  4. Never give your personal information – date of birth, address, phone number, bank details – to people you ‘meet’ on the internet.
  5. It’s okay to say no. If a stranger or someone you don’t like sends you a ‘friend’ request, you don’t have to accept it.
  6. Tell someone – if you’re being bullied on the internet (for example, getting nasty Facebook messages or emails)
  7. Take a screen shot of any nasty messages – and don’t delete the message until you’ve done so. Taking a screen shot saves messages, so that you can show them to people who can help you. (Click here to learn how to take a screen shot)
  8. Block bullies – this stops them from being able to contact you. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask someone to show you.
  9. Never arrange to meet up with someone you’ve met online – even if they seem nice, or you think you know them.
  10. Never reply to emails saying you have won the lottery or inherited money – they are fake emails from people who are trying to trick you.

For more about Safernet visit their site here (

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We are a support provider for people with learning disabilities in the UK. If you, or a friend or relative, are struggling with a mental health issue then you need to speak to your GP. MIND and SAMARITIANS are good sources of information. In crisis, the best port of call is the Emergency Services.

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