“…and remember the next scream you hear could be yours” Alfred HItchcock The Birds 1963

Now we aren’t saying that the internet is filled to the brim with awful people and terrible content. It’s a wonderful place, filled with opportunities to learn, explore and socialise, have fun and enjoy yourself. But sometimes there are a few who like to try and ruin it for the rest of us. Sites like Twitter are brilliant but sometimes the morning chorus is just too loud. So rather than knock the birds of their perch, why not accept they are there and then bat them away.

So to prevent you from being pecked to death we have gathered together some need to know information that will help you keep yourself and your family safe whilst interacting online. It’s a selection of statistics, real life stories, news clippings and helpful advice that will help you to navigate the online world without having to face the nasties that lurk in the shadows.

We’re not here to scare you, but it’s always better to know these things.


The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chatroom, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.
Grooming is defined as “actions deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, in order to lower the child’s inhibitions in preparation for sexual activity with the child.
‘Catfishing,’ a slang term for creating fake profiles on social media to create false identities, has its origins in the 2010 movie ‘Catfish,’ a pseudo-documentary that chronicled a young man’s online friendship with a woman that turned out to be very different from her Facebook profile.
This term is used by Young People to describe a person that spends their time on the street generally it has a negative feel, ‘road men’ tend to hang out on the street corners, speak in a slang, and possibly engage in illegal activities, they may have a general street ‘swagger’ – an air of confidence, can be aggressive, they know, and play the system on the street.
Sexting is sending and receiving sexually explicit messages, primarily between mobile phones.
Doxing’ is the practice of gathering and publishing personal or private information about someone on the internet. It comes from the word ‘document’/’dox’ and emerged as a revenge tactic in 1990s hacking culture. Methods for obtaining information about the person being doxed ranges from using publicly searchable databases, to social media sites like Facebook, to hacking.
Swatting is an internet prank/crime where someone finds your address either through your IP or because your name and location is known. Then they call 911 anonymously and report a fake emergency. Ex, someone can call and say that someone at that address is being held at a gun point or someone is going to commit suicide and a SWAT team would be dispatched to the address. Anyone caught swatting could face serious charges — even federal charges for abusive 911 calls, false alarms or reports and then unauthorized use of telecommunications.
Happy slapping is a fad originating in the UK in which one or more people attack a victim for the purpose of recording the assault (commonly with a camera phone or a smartphone).
Pro-ana refers to the promotion of behaviors related to the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. It is often referred to simply as ana and is sometimes personified by anorexics as a girl named ‘Ana’. The lesser-used term pro-mia refers likewise to bulimia nervosa and is sometimes used interchangeably with pro-ana.
An emerging phenomenon in the digital community, behaviour dubbed “cyber self-harm” involves abusive messages and insults being directed by the sender at themselves, often through anonymous platforms.
An online argument that becomes nasty or derisive, where insulting a party to the discussion takes precedence over the objective merits of one side or another.
Online radicalisation to violence is the process by which an individual is introduced to an ideological message and belief system that encourages movement from mainstream beliefs toward extreme views, primarily through the use of online media, including social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.1 A result of radical interpretations of mainstream religious or political doctrines, these extreme views tend to justify, promote, incite, or support violence to achieve any number of social, religious, or political changes.


  • 82% of all sex crimes where a minor is the victim, the predator used a social media site or chat profile to gain information on the victim.
  • only 1 in three children will report the sexual crime to an adult they trust.
  • 75% of children are willing to share personal information online about themselves and their family in exchange for goods and services
  • 88 million people on Facebook are not who they say they are!
  • Over 40,000 annual cases of self harm amongst teens are as a result of cyber bullying
  • Approximately one in five children (17%) in first class of primary school have spoken to a stranger online.
  • More than 500,000 predators are online everyday
  • 89% of all sexual advances toward our children take place in internet chat rooms and through instant messaging
  • 25% of children have been exposed to unwanted pornographic material online