Stay Safe on Facebook

We are one of Facebook's safety partners and work with Facebook to advise them on how they can keep young people safe online. We also educate people about the tools Facebook have in place to  keep users safe. For the last two years we have taken our Anti-Bullying Ambassador Youth Board to Facebook's European Headquarters in Dublin. Here they spent the day with four Irish Ambassadors learning about Facebook's Safety Tools and meeting the people at Facebook who design the tools and deal with reports of bullying. Our Youth Board wanted to share with you what they have learnt so you know how to stay safe on Facebook and what to do if a problem arises...

Our Youth Board's Top Tips for Students

Tip 1 - Facebook's Bullying Prevention Hub

Facebook have recently launched their Bullying Prevention Hub. The Hub supports young people to report online abuse or harassment. It also offers resources and tools for parents and staff to support young people to deal with the situation. 

Tip 2 - How to block someone on Facebook

If someone is harassing you or being nasty to you online you can block them. This means that you can no longer see their timeline and details and they can no longer see yours. You also won't be able to find each others timelines in the search bar. They do not know you have blocked them unless they try and view your timeline. You can unblock them at any point too.

Tip 3 - How to unfriend someone on Facebook

If you have added someone you don't know or no longer want to share your information with a person, you can unfriend them. This stops you seeing their content and stops them from seeing yours. If you want to add them as a friend again you have to send them a friend request. They will not know you have removed them as a friend unless they try and search for your profile. 

Tip 4 - Using Social Reporting to get a friend to remove a post or picture

If your friend on Facebook has put up a picture or post about you or someone else that upsets you or you don't like, you can use the social reporting tool to privately ask them to take it down. You can also use this tool to report content on Facebook to someone via email with a message eg, a trusted adult like a teacher. 

Tip 5 - Check your Privacy Settings

You can change your privacy settings to adjust who sees the information that you share. We would recommend setting your privacy settings to private so people can only see your information if they are friends with you. You can check your privacy settings by clicking on 'Account' and selecting 'Privacy Settings'.

Tip 6 - How to report content to Facebook

You can report content to Facebook eg, if someone is bullying you. All reports are anonymous and the person won't know you have reported their content. Facebook will let you know the outcome of your report in the support dashboard. 

Full Video: The Youth Board's Top Tips for Staying Safe Online

Facebook Policy Team's Top Tips for Staff

Staff Tip 1 - What role can staff play in keeping young people safe online?

Staff play a critical role in educating young people to stay safe online. We understand you need to educate yourself before you educate others and Facebook have lots of resources to do just that. Check out Facebook's Family Safety Centre for advice on how to teach online safety to your students and to download Facebook’s Guide for Educators. Their Anti-Bullying Hub also has lots of ideas and resources to help you prevent bullying happening online and advice on how to effectively deal with students’ reports of online bullying. 

Staff Tip 2 - What advice can staff give to young people if they have found out that a student is being bullied online?

Let the student concerned know that you have heard that they may be having problems online and should really speak to someone they trust about the problem so they can get support. If as a staff member you are unable to view the online bullying, encourage the student concerned, or the student who has reported the incident to take screenshots of the bullying to show you. This means you can also use it as evidence to deal with the incident. Depending on the severity of the content, you can visit Facebook’s Help Centre and use the information to make an online report to Facebook for the content to be taken down and action to be taken against the bully’s account. 

Staff Tip 3 - How can I educate my students to stay safe online?

Make sure you’re clued up on Facebook’s Safety Features so you can educate your students. Watch the videos above to learn about Facebook’s Safety Features and have a look at the following pages:

Staff Tip 4 - I know some of my students are under 13 and using Facebook. What can I do as a staff member?

Everyone needs to be 13 or over to have a Facebook account. When you sign up to Facebook it will automatically adjust your account settings depending on your age and will put higher privacy settings in place for younger users. If you find that a student under 13 is using Facebook you can send the profile into Facebook and report it to them using this link: Facebook will then investigate the account and take it down if necessary.

Staff Tip 5 - Some teens over share. What can I do to help them understand the boundaries?

Make sure that the students are happy with the audience they are sharing their information with. Encourage them to go through their Friends List and unfriend anyone they don’t know or trust. You can also ask them to check their Privacy Settings to ensure that only their Facebook Friends can view their information and not the general public. Facebook have also created a campaign to encourage young people to think before they share: If the student has uploaded some content they regret, they can delete the content using the drop down menu. If the content has been uploaded by someone else and makes them feel uncomfortable they can request the content to be removed by reporting it to Facebook using the drop down menu. 

Lesson Plan for Staff

We have created two fun and easy activities to do with your students which tie into the videos above. These activities will really help them to think about who they talk to and share their information with online and also how they can support other students if they see them having problems online. 

Download the resource here.