Youngsters get advice on taking a safe ‘selfie’

Rachel Dobbie, Lauren Eadington and Mollie Dow  with youth worker Rachel Kerry.
Rachel Dobbie, Lauren Eadington and Mollie Dow with youth worker Rachel Kerry.

Young people in Northumberland have been learning how to take safe ‘selfies’ thanks to a project that is raising awareness of the precautions people should make when posting pictures of themselves online.

The project has been initiated by Northumberland County Council’s youth service after concerns were raised that so many young people were putting themselves in a vulnerable position by uploading inappropriate images of themselves on social media.

Over recent months, local youth workers have been working with young people in south east Northumberland to develop a media campaign to help raise awareness of the importance of taking safe selfies.

Posters, leaflets, wrist bands and lesson plans have been designed to support the campaign and these are now being distributed in schools and youth clubs in Cramlington, Blyth and Seaton Valley.

The type of advice given includes ensuring there are no school uniform logos or street names in the background of the photo, adjusting privacy settings, and ensuring that the phone’s GPS is disabled so its location cannot be tracked.

Once the children have read the information they are then asked to take a safe selfie, post it onto the social media site and use the hastag #safeselfie.

Rachel Kerry, who works for Northumberland County Council’s youth service, said: “This has been such a powerful project and it has really captured the interest of young people.

“We are using social media to address problems that have actually been caused by social media.”