Smart Talk
1. Whenever I am online, my mum always complains that I have spent too much time on the Internet. What can I do?
1. Prove to your parents that you have self-control and discipline. Besides going online, your daily activities including study, entertainment and rest are well-managed.

2. Tell your parents how and why you enjoy using the Internet, and share your feelings with them through open communication. Discuss with your parents about when and how long you can stay online, and what activities you can do online beforehand. It is very important that you and your parents have an agreement based on mutual trust and understanding.

3. Set a time out by switching off computer or putting aside the smartphone.

4. It is important for you to live a balanced life and develop different interests such as sports or music.

5. Arrange time offline for socializing with your friends and family, spend some time for physical activities every day and play computer games or surf the Internet after you have finished your homework.

6. Take note if you have too much time on computer and smartphone which affects your study, daily life or becomes irritable when offline. If it happens, you need to take it serious and find out the underlying cause e.g. feeling bored, encountering learning difficulties or interpersonal relationship problem. Seek help from parents, teachers or social workers when necessary.

2. I enjoy playing online video games with my friends. My parents always try to stop me from playing and it is often difficult for me to stop in the middle of a game. It really upsets me when they try to disturb me. What should I do?
1. Communicate with your parents and invite them to play the games so as to give them a better understanding of your Internet use. Listen and try to understand their concerns and worries.

2. Setting time limits for gaming or using time limiting tools may help to avoid excessive use of Internet. Show your self-control to lessen your parents' worries.

3. It is helpful to talk to yourself: "I should stop playing in 10 minutes. I have many other things to do offline." Be assertive and tell your friends: "I have to do homework now. Let's play together next time." or "It is time for me to sleep now. I have to switch the screen off. "

4. Actively participate in different activities for fun. There are different forms of entertainment other than online video games, such as ball games, building models, reading comics and different sorts of outdoor activities.

5. It is fun to develop new interests and hobbies. Join your friends to participate in healthy group activities.

3. I like chatting with my friends using instant messaging and social networking sites. Recently I find that some of my "private" messages are shared by others and widely spread online. How can I stay safe while I am chatting online?
1. Bear in mind that all electronically circulated content is hard to control. The audience can be very large and reached rapidly. All information you give out on your profile and all your messages could stay online forever as anyone can save and repost before you delete them.

2. Think twice before you put anything on your site, especially those sensitive information that embarrass your friends or yourself. Ask yourself: "Why do I need to post these pictures?", "Who can see it?" or "Will they misunderstand or misuse these information to attack me?"

3. Make clear to your friends to seek your approval before uploading or sharing any photos or messages related to you, and vice versa.

4. Making strong passwords and changing passwords regularly to secure your computer and online accounts are also important. Do not share your passwords with anyone. Adjust the privacy settings on the social networking sites so that only your approved friends can view your profile and instant message you.

4. What should I do if my "online friend" asks for my information and requests meeting up with me?
1. "Friends" made online are still strangers. It is very easy to lie on the Internet. There is no way to find out whether a person is telling the truth or not. Never make friends online. Some adults may pretend to be your age and try to befriend you on the Internet but actually have bad intentions. Be aware of news about cyber-crime to raise your alertness.

2. Never chat or arrange face-to-face meeting with anyone you know online but do not know in the real world. No matter how long you have met them online, they are still strangers, meeting them can be very dangerous.

3. Be careful not to share your personal information and daily routine, with people you meet online but do not know in the real world. Strangers may be able to find you or even hurt you with the information you shared.

4. Try to participate in different kinds of group activities in real life to develop your social life in the real world, e.g. voluntary services, sports activities and interest groups, etc.

5. Someone I meet on the Internet send nasty messages and images about me to others within different interactive online sites. Is it cyber-bullying? What should I do to stop it?
1. Cyber-bullying refers to someone uses technology, like Internet or mobiles, to deliberately and repeatedly bully another person. It can be in the form of nasty and hurtful messages, pictures or videos.

2. If you encounter cyber-bullying, report the incident to a trusted adult right away to discuss ways to solve the problem.

3. Report to the moderator of the site or service provider that you have been bullied. Check providers' websites to see where to report incidents. If the cyber-bullying is serious and if the messages include threats, report to the police.

4. Try to block all communications with the bully and save all the messages, emails, pictures or videos as well as record the user name, date and time of the cyber-bullying incident as evidence.

5. Do not retaliate or respond to the bully. Replying to the bully may trigger more bullying messages.

6. A friend of mine forwards to me a video about a classmate. I find that it is a video of my classmate being humiliated and bullied. What should I do if someone I know is being cyberbullied?
1. Bullying is never a joke or something funny. It may lead to serious consequences. If you receive a nasty message or a picture about someone, do not forward it. You could be assisting a bully, and even be accused of cyber-bullying.

2. Before you post or forward a funny picture of your friend or make a joke about someone online, ask yourself whether you want everyone to see it. What you think is a joke may really hurt someone else. Always think before you post or forward messages to others. Do not incite any cyber-bullying. When someone you know is being cyberbullied, support the victim by reporting the incident to a trusted adult.

3. Respect the privacy of others by not disclosing information of others when using the Internet. Always seek permission before sharing, posting or forwarding messages or pictures publicly online.

4. Always check and verify online content or message you receive from others. Analyse information and its sources critically. Be aware of biased opinion and inappropriate content.

7. If I express my resentment towards certain issues or say something negative about someone while remaining anonymous online, shouldn't it be fine since I am appearing "invisible" and no one shall be able to identify me?
1. Although most people who cyberbully may attempt to remain anonymous, there are ways to find out information about where cyber-bullying originated. Evidence can be gathered from online and mobile communications. Remember that when you send a message to someone, you cannot see the impact that your words or images have on the other person. Something sent as a joke may be deeply upsetting or offensive to others. You may not be fully aware of the potential seriousness or impact of your actions.

2. We should learn to respect people with different opinions and think critically. Try to make positive use of technology and create a positive footprint. When publishing information or having conversations with others online, always show respect to people and be a responsible "digizen".

3. Be mindful of how you present yourself online, who can see your content and how others are going to respond to your messages. Be aware of how others may be hurt by what you do, whether you intend to harm or not. It may cause serious emotional disturbance even suicidal ideation to the victim.

4. Be aware of the potential legal consequences of cyber-bullying. Many cyber-bullying incidents can themselves act as evidence. The bully will leave a "digital footprint" that can potentially be used as evidence. To identify the perpetrator, the police may request the service provider to disclose the data about a message or the person sending a message which can be used as evidence against the bully.

8. Lately, one of my "online friends" invites me to video chat. He shows his naked body and asks me to "nude chat". What should I do?
1. Some people you meet online have bad intentions. They may try to befriend you so as to gain your trust and then persuade you to post sexual content online, including appearing naked and performing sexually suggestive acts, either via your digital camera, smartphone or on webcam. Hence, try not to use webcam or video chat face-to-face with anyone whom you do not know in the real world.

2. Exposing private body parts can be regarded as an illegal act, with offender subject to criminal liability. Victims should report to police. You should also take caution to avoid falling into trap by being videotaped and blackmailed.

3. If someone you do not know add you to their contact list or send messages to you, make sure you block them, never reply to them and do not open the file that they sent you.

4. If anyone asks you to do anything you feel uncomfortable, you should say "no" to the request and block or delete that person from your friend list. You should report it to a trusted adult.

9. My classmate sent me a link to websites with nude images and sexual content. I am worried that my parents will find it out but I am really curious and seem "addicted" to these websites. Is it a problem?
1. Young people are naturally curious about sex but we should be aware of the appropriateness and credibility of the information we get from the websites. Inappropriate content on the Internet may contain inaccurate information which may have a negative impact on us and distort our views and attitudes.

2. Exposure to sexual content is associated with high risk sexual behaviour. Adolescents involved in online sexual activities have greater likelihood of being involved in early onset of sexual intercourse and multiple sexual partners.

3. Understand how to determine credibility of Internet websites and critically evaluate any materials you find. Avoid exposure to inappropriate sexual content.

4. We should gain knowledge about sex from appropriate sources. Turn to your parents, teachers or social worker for help and advice if you have any concerns about sex or personal development.



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Last Revision Date : 16 November 2015