Beyond 16 days…

Is someone sending you nude pictures? Do you suspect that someone is trying to groom you? Are you being stalked on Facebook?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, you are not safe online. Someone might be violating your rights!

Really? What harm can come from a little innocent stalker fun? It could just be your school mate playing tricks on you, right?

But what if it’s actually someone you don’t know? How can you protect yourself and make it stop?

The internet is such a great tool. It connects us. It gives us a platform to voice our opinions, and it encourages creative expression. But this same internet can also be used by others to harm us!

Sadly, the internet and social media have a dark side – especially for young people. Every time you click on Facebook or WhatsApp, you face the risk of being cyber-bullied, or exposed to sexual and emotional abuse. It can happen any time of the day or night, and it limits your ability to use the internet to improve your life, and the lives of others.

But don’t freak out and start closing all your social media accounts.  Help is on the way – in the shape of Web Rangers!

Web Rangers are a bunch of cool awesome young people like you. They have been trained as online safety ambassadors, and they can show you how to use the internet responsibly to pursue your passions, hone your talents and develop new skills.

I bet you are dying to know how to connect with them so you can protect yourself online. Well, it’s your lucky day!

As part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, Web Rangers and Lead SA will launch a series of social media posts created by Web Rangers to highlight the abuse and violence faced by young people online.

Under the theme #16PLUS, Web Rangers will develop 16 stories about cyber-bullying, grooming, and sexting: one story for each day of the campaign.

The #16PLUS initiative also invites YOU to tell your stories and share tips to help your friends stay safe – even after the 16 Days campaign is over.

To find out more about this exciting initiative – follow Webrangerslead on Instagram and Facebook: www.facebook.com/webrangersSA and join the conversation using #16Plus. For more information visit www.leadsa.co.za and www.webrangers.co.za