Staying Safe Online
With the world of social media expanding at an unprecedented rate, it is more important than ever to ensure that as a young person you are aware of the digital footprint that you leave online, how to keep yourself safe, and how to report concerns. This guidance is designed for children and young people and for the consideration of parents/carers.
- Parents and venue officials are aware who and how people from your club are able to contact you;
- Coaches should only communicate with children under 18 years if it is done through a WhatsApp/text group or email that includes their parent(s)/carer(s) and relates to only tennis-related matters;
- If a video call/online coaching session is required, parent(s)/carer(s) should be informed and asked to provide their written consent if the child is under 18 years old. Video calls should involve another adult, such as the parent/carer;
- Adults such as coaches should contact your parents/carers directly, or have your parents/carers copied in to any messages;
- Your coach should not ask to be ‘friends’ with you on social media and they have had safeguarding training on how they should correspond with junior players;
- Social media sites have privacy settings, which you should utilise and are there to keep you safe.
- Post or give out your personal details, such as your mobile number, email address, or address;
- Accept friend requests on social media or other communication platforms from adults at your venue such as your coaches, club officials, referees, and team captains;
- Invite those adults to be friends on your social media and communication platforms;
- Post, text, email, or communicate anything online or offline that may be deemed as offensive, abusive, racist, or threatening by way of comments, language, or behaviours.
- Your venue will have a Welfare Officer who you can speak to if you are worried about something, especially if it is something you have seen online or something has been posted about you that makes you unhappy or is offensive;
- If you cannot speak with your venue’s Welfare Officer about any communications you received that made you feel uncomfortable or were offensive, tell an adult you trust. This may be a teacher or another official at your club;
- If you have received a communication that is offensive or upsetting, tell the appropriate adult and make sure you copy/save/print the post before you delete, as it may be required as evidence;
- You can report anything that makes you feel uncomfortable to the LTA Safeguarding Team through an online system
- You can contact childline anonymously via 0800 1111 or childline
- You can report online to the police via CEOP
- Whilst a message or post can be shared privately between you and a friend, for instance a direct message, if the other person shares it online then it is made public;
- What you post online leaves a digital footprint and whilst you may delete a post, it may still be retrieved and others may have sent it on or taken a screenshot;
- Anything you do or say online, whilst you think it may be private, may be shared by others, so do not say anything offensive or that you would not want to be made public;
- Do not suffer in silence and reach out to an appropriate adult if you receive any online communications that make you feel uncomfortable or threatened. There are adults who can help and support you.
The LTA Safeguarding Team is here to support and safeguard children in our sport. There are also other organisations that can provide advice, particularly on specific topics such as cyberbullying, sexting, gaming, video chats. Advice on these topics and more can be found via the following websites:
- Young Stonewall
- NSPCC (Online Safety for Children - Tips & Guides)
- Activity Alliance
- Sporting Equals