Online safety

Here at the Inter Schools Advertiser, your safety is very important to us. As you will notice in the classifieds section, we do not display your personal details online in any way. Interested parties can only initiate contact through a message sent from our website. We strongly encourage that you only give out any personal contact details after you are completely sure of your own safety.

Safety tips when purchasing items for sale

Meet face to face, you should never send payment for items you've seen in person, not seen through a picture. Our recommended procedure for purchasing an item is:

  • Arrange to meet with the seller with their item in a public place with no money on your person.
  • Inspect the item.
  • Only once you are fully satisfied with the quality of the item, you agree to make payment.
  • Either go into a bank to withdraw money or arrange to make payment at a later date.
  • Make the exchange.

You are under no pressure to purchase an item if you are not satisfied with its quality.

If an advert or reply sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Public places are the best places for a trade exchange.Shopping centres, coffee shops, petrol stations, busy public car parks to name but a few.

Only carry the amount of money equal to the cost of an item agreed with the advertiser. Don't carry large sums of money with you when meeting up.

Never attend a trade unaccompanied. Always inform others of when/where you're going to trade and who you are trading with. If you're under the age of 18, you should be accompanied by a parent or carer to any meeting with an advertiser.

If you are unsure about an advertiser, either inform us or find another advertiser to use. There will always be someone else who is willing to trade with you on your terms; you should not feel pressured by an advertiser.

Registered companies: If you're dealing with a registered company, be sure to check the registered status of a company (e.g. FSA) before handing over money

by Craig Batty, Assistant Head of Sydenham High School

  • Remove internet-enabled devices from the bedroom. Devices should be used in public areas of the home, such as the kitchen or living room. Children are more likely to take risks in what feels like a private area - remember not everyone is who they say they are online;
  • Talk to your children about the apps, blogs and social media sites they are using - are they age-appropriate? Most advise that users should be over 13 (e.g. Snapchat, Instagram), some over 16 (e.g. WhatsApp) and some over 17 (e.g. Vine);
  • Discuss with your children which social networking sites they are using. Look at the privacy settings together to ensure that they are keeping personal information secure. It is important that your children know how to report and block users on social media;
  • Talk to your children about which apps they are using and whether they have geotagging. CEOP (The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) advise that this feature should be switched off, as it pinpoints your location;
  • If your child has a mobile phone, ensure that the privacy settings are enabled and location services are switched off. Service providers can help apply parental control settings on all internet-enabled devices and home networks, or provide information about particular mobile models;
  • Visit to read information and watch CEOP films about online risks. These include cyberbullying, grooming, inappropriate websites and losing control over pictures and videos. Watch the films with your children and discuss the themes;
  • If you suspect that your child is facing an online risk, offer reassurance and support. Keep the evidence and learn how to report incidents. Visit for further advice, or 'Click CEOP' which is an icon on many social media websites;
  • Ensure that your child knows how to take a screen shot on their devices to capture any inappropriate content as evidence;
  • Have open communication with your children. Using the thinkuknow resources is a great way to open dialogue about their online life and shows them that you understand the complexities of the issues faced. Hopefully they will feel secure in approaching you if they feel out of control or uncomfortable with something they see online.

Some rules for online safety for students and pupils

  • Don't give out any personal information, particularly mobile phone numbers and addresses.
  • Don't send pictures of yourself to anyone. Once you've pressed send, there is no going back.
  • Only open emails and email attachment if you know the source of the email. Unknown attachments can cause viruses to affect your computer.
  • Don't be afraid to tell someone, particularly a parent or carer, if something you have seen or read online worries you.
  • Don't become 'friends' with someone online unless you know them. It's very easy for someone to lie about their identity online.
  • Never arrange to meet someone who you have met online in person. Not everyone is who they say they are.

Here are a number of sites which offer more in-depth advice regarding online safety for both you and your child: