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What can go wrong online?

What can go wrong online?

Being online is so important for people of all ages now, and the internet is a great place for learning, fun and entertainment. 

You can learn new things, chat with friends, stream shows or play games. 

It’s also a great place to find out about sex and explore your own sexuality. There are loads of resources and websites that provide advice and information you can trust about sex and relationships. 

Find out more about these resources in our safe places to learn about sex section. 

Safe spaces to learn about sex

Find safe spaces where you can learn more about sex, love and relationships.

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We encourage young people to develop what we call digital resilience. Someone who is digitally resilient can spend time online safely and in a way that keeps them well in their body and mind. 

Being digitally resilient means knowing how, when and where to ask for help if you need it. 

But sometimes, young people don’t have this digital resilience, and they get into trouble for their sexual behaviour online. 

There are different ways this could happen. Here are some examples of how a young person might get into trouble:

  • They’re bullying or harassing someone they know, or someone they don’t know.
  • They’re trying to get someone involved in sexual activity online. For example, they send sexual selfies, or sexual texts (sexting), when the other person doesn’t want them.
  • They’ve shared sexual images or messages and now they regret it.
  • They’ve looked at illegal sexual pictures or videos. (To find out what these could be, look at our page on sex and the law.) 
  • They’ve chosen the wrong time or place to explore their sexuality online, such as at school.

In cases like these, young people might feel out of control of their online sexual behaviour. They might be confused or anxious about their online activity and worry about whether what they’re doing is okay or not okay. 

If you’re concerned about your online sexual behaviour, there is information on this site to help you to decide whether what you’re doing is okay or not. See our page on what to do if you’re worried you’ve harmed someone sexually. 

What to do if… You’re worried you’ve harmed someone sexually

Find advice on how to understand your behaviour, how to talk about it and where to get support.

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There are also suggestions and information about ways to make positive changes on our page building a good life. 

Building a good life

Find out about the Good Lives Model, to help you understand your behaviour and set goals for a good life.

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Are you struggling?

Our advisors can give you support and advice, and you don’t have to say who you are.

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