This page offers advice to children and young people in Ukraine about how to keep themselves and others safe online and avoid exploitation, and details for support available.
You may spend a lot of time online, gaming, browsing and chatting with friends but there might people who may contact you and try befriend you. They may seem nice but might be predators who are not to be trusted. That’s why important to understand the dangers of talking to someone you don’t know.
This is a risk that young people in Ukraine face.
In a recent survey we asked Ukrainian young people about their experiences online who told us they had seen suspicious adverts and messages online.
Here are some tips about how to stay safe and what to do if something goes wrong.
Online grooming is when someone uses the internet to trick, force or pressure you or your friends into doing something sexual – like sending a naked video or image of yourselves. This can also include pressuring into criminal activity, or even espionage. This is wrong and it’s a form of child trafficking.
Someone who’s grooming others online will sometimes build their trust before talking about doing anything sexual or criminal.
It’s not easy to know if someone’s trying to groom you, but no matter what’s happening, organisations can help.
Tips to stay safe online
There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself safe online.
- Think before you post. Don’t upload or share anything you wouldn’t want your parents, carers, teachers or future employers seeing. Once you post something, you lose control of it, especially if someone else screenshots or shares it. REMEMBER if you send someone sexual photos or videos of yourself, you lose control over what happens to them. The other person may end up sharing them with other people who might then keep sharing them. Someone could even use images you’ve sent to blackmail you. For example, they may say that they’ll post them online if you don’t keep sending more images.
- Don’t share personal details. Keep things like your address, phone number, full name, school and date of birth private, and check what people can see in your privacy settings.
- Think about who you’re talking to. There are lots of ways that people try to trick you into trusting them online. Even if you like and trust someone you’ve met online, never share personal information with them like your address, full name, or where you go to school.
- Keep your device secure. Make sure that you’re keeping your information and device secure.
- Cover your webcam. Some viruses will let someone access your webcam without you knowing, so make sure you cover your webcam whenever you’re not using it
- Don’t share photos of the location of military equipment, road-blocks, etc. It is forbidden to photograph and distribute photos of any military objects. Remember, such actions are illegal and very dangerous. Contact the police or the Security Service of Ukraine if someone asked you to send this picture’s.
5 ways to get support if things go wrong
Remember, you are not alone and adults always ready to support you.
In order to reduce the risks of online exploitation:
- Set your social media accounts to private, and check what information people can view about you online.
- If suspicious messages are received, report to social media support team about accounts or videos (in the app) or block the account.
Details of support organisations in Ukraine
Here are organisations that can support and help you in different ways. Please mention STOP THE TRAFFIK if you contact any of the organisations listed below.
- If you in immediate danger, ring the police by dialling 102.
- Cyber Police of Ukraine is a law enforcement agency within the the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine dedicated to combating cyber crime. To leave a message to employees of the Cyber Police Department, you should send an application to the e-mail address email@example.com. Phone number – 0 800 50 51 70 (Monday – Friday from 09:00 to 18:00). You can also report a crime committed using the online form on the website.
La Strada Ukraine
La Strada Ukraine is a public human rights organisation working to ensure gender equality, peace building, prevention of gender-based violence, including domestic violence, combating human trafficking and ensuring the rights of children, promoting human rights standards in all spheres of society and the state.
This is the representative office of the International Organization A21 in Ukraine for the fight against human trafficking. Anyone who applied for help to A21 can receive free consultation and assistance, legal assistance, psychological support in a crisis situation, receive a one-time food kit with basic necessary items.
Stop Sexтинг - Psychological support line on online risks
Children can directly apply for help on the website - the button at the bottom of the main page, fill out a questionnaire and receive psychological support from a #stop_sexting specialist. Consultations are confidential and free of charge / On the website #stop_sexting, you can report materials depicting sexual abuse against children. The portal works as a reporting line. These messages help protect children and prevent them from further sexual exploitation.
Download the STOP APP
The STOP APP enables anybody who knows, has seen or even heard a situation that they believe to be human trafficking, to talk about it in a safe and secure space. You can report the incident anonymously and securely through the STOP APP. There will be no record of the report submitted on your phone. The app is available in Ukrainian language.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is a human trafficking prevention organisation. This app collects individuals’ stories of global human trafficking to disrupt and prevent this crime. We are not a rescue organisation and this app is not monitored 24/7 but will be checked on the next working day. If anyone is in immediate danger or a crime has been committed please contact trusted authorities.