Social media guide

Use the links below to find out more about the social media accounts listed or look up the soical media name on Wikipedia for more detailed information. For eample Ello (a social network not listed below).


Please note Always check the sites' help files and, in particular, their recommended security settings, as social media sites evolve very quickly

Ask FM

What is it?

Ask FM is a Latvian based website where users can be asked questions by other users who can remain anonymous.

How does is work?

Users can sign up to Ask.FM by selecting a unique username, password, email address and date of birth. You can also sign up with your Twitter or Facebook account details.

Once signed up other users can ask you questions, either giving their details or by choosing to remain anonymous. You can do the same. Questions are largely unchecked by the website meaning that mostly any question can be asked whether positive or negative.

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Facebook

What is it?

Facebook is a massive social networking site meaning you can make contact with people you know and also people all over the world who you don’t know.

How does is work?

You register on Facebook by adding some basic details about yourself (name, town, school, workplace etc) and preferably a photo of yourself. Other Facebook users can search for you using the information you have entered. They can ask to become your friend or you can ask to be friends of others by searching in the same way.

Using the website is easy. Once you are registered, you can post comments about what you are doing, interesting things you have found on the web and upload photos. The photos can be of you and your family or friends or even strangers. You can tag the photos with the names of the people in them which is also searchable.

Does it have security settings?

Firstly, you must be 13 or older to register on Facebook, but underage users can easily put their age as 13, as there are no checks to confirm this.

Many young people can have hundreds of Facebook friends, but they do not know them in the real world. We encourage young people only to Facebook 'friend' people they actually know.

Facebook has a number of settings to make the site more secure…

Useful Links

Devon and Cornwall Police Facebook page

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Flickr

What is it?

Flickr is an image and video hosting website (owned by Yahoo) and allows users to upload photos and video on to the website for other people to view. It is used by people just wanting to share their holiday photos, through to professionals uploading their portfolio of work.

How does is work?

You register on Flickr by creating a Yahoo account. This is done by inputting a unique user name and password, plus mobile telephone.

Once registered, users can upload photos and videos to the site creating albums for them to go into (e.g. Holiday 2014).

Does it have security settings?

You can make your photos and videos only available to family and friends.

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Habbo

What is it?

Habbo (formerly Habbo Hotel) is a virtual environment where users, aged 13 and over, can create their own characters (based on themselves or not) and also their own room.  Users can organise parties, look after virtual pets, create and play games and complete quests. Lots of activities in the hotel will earn the user badges. It is free to sign up but you can buy 'extras' with Habbo credits.

How does is work?

To join Habbo, you can use your Facebook details or a unique username and password. You are also asked for your date of birth and you can sign up to the Habbo newsletter.

Does it have security settings?

Habbo is monitored 24 hours, 7 days a week by professional moderators.  Users can identify them by the Habbo Staff symbol next to their name. If users need help from moderators they can click  the 'Help' button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Moderators can help users out by kicking, muting or even banning a misbehaving user from the hotel. For adults, there is also a special guide.

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Lovefilm

What is it?

Lovefilm (owned by Amazon) is a video streaming service which allows users to watch films and TV programmes through an electronic device (computers, games consoles, tablets etc.).

How does is work?

Users pay a monthly subscription to watch the company’s range of programmes and films.

To use it, users download the app onto their tablet or games console or head to the website, if viewing via their PC. Users select a unique username and password and enter credit/debit card details to start their subscription. To stop subscribing, users need to log into their account via a computer and cancel, otherwise monthly payments will continue to be taken.

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Snapchat

What is it?

Snapchat is a photo messaging application that enables users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, known as ‘snaps’ and send them to a specific list of users. Users can set a time limit for how long recipients can view their snaps from 1 to 10 seconds, after which they will be hidden from the users’ phone or tablet and deleted from Snapchat’s servers.

How does is work?

After downloading and installing Snapchat for smartphones, users must provide an email address and select a password to create an account. Snapchat is directed towards teens and adults. Children under the age of 13 are only permitted to access a special version of Snapchat, called ‘SnapKidz,’ which they are automatically directed to upon sign up.

The left image shows the main screen on the app. The circular button at the bottom allows users to take photos or video footage using the smartphone camera. The list icon on the right shows the list of the users contents, with the box icon on the right showing the Snapchat menu where users can see images sent to them.

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Twitter

What is it?

Twitter is simply a series of short, online announcements called ‘tweets’. Tweets are limited to just 140 characters, but you can link to photos and videos. Like other social networking sites you can gain friends (called followers) or you can like other people on the site by following them.

How does is work?

You can register by going to the Twitter website and choosing a unique user name and password plus some other basic details. You also choose an image that appears next to your tweets.

Any tweet appears on a page feed with the users name to the left of it. For example @DC_Police.  By clicking on the @DC_Police you can follow the user or put a tweet on their page. The tweet above also shows a link to another website which is useful as each tweet can only be 140 characters.

You can also see a hashtag or a #. This is a useful tool that enables you to tag an important word in your tweet. If other users like your hashtag, they can use it too. This is often called trending when lots of people use the same hashtag.

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Pheed

What is it?

Pheed is a social networking app for smartphones where users (aged 13 and above) can post photos, text, video and audio files to their accounts (called channels). You can subscribe to other users' channels. Anyone can leave pheedback (comments) on anything you upload, although you can set who you share your content with.

How does is work?

Users can download Pheed on their Apple or Android smart phones. You then create an account using your Facebook or Twitter log in details or your own email address. The advantage of using Facebook/Twitter details means you can check your friends from these networks to see if they are on Pheed.

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Tumblr

What is it?

Tumblr is a microblogging platform and social networking website owned by Yahoo! The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog that can be used on a computer, tablet or smartphone, meaning users can blog at home or when they are out.

How does is work?

To sign up, Tumbler asks users for their email, password and a username. You must also agree the terms and conditions where you are also asked your age. You will be sent an email to confirm that you want to join. Once you join, it asks you to join five tumblr blogs which you can select from their recommendations or by using the search option. Once you are done, you are asked to enter some details about yourself.

Once completed, the main page shows you all the blogs you have subscribed to plus simple icons at the top to allow you to share comments and media. The right menu shows a list of your followed blogs, your own posts and the ability to customise your page.

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Pinterest

What is it?

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, 're-pin' images to their own pinboards, or 'like' photos.

How does is work?

You can register for Pinterest using your Facebook log in details or a unique email and password. Once you register, the site shows you a collection of Pinterest categories, each of which you can pin to your own page. To create a Pinboard of your own, click on the plus at the top of the page. You can add your own photos or link to other websites. Users can pin your pages to their boards and vice versa.

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Kik

What is it?

Kik is a free messenger program that can be downloaded on computers, tablets and mobile phones. It enables users to message each other (like normal text messaging), but also share fun videos, sketches and pictures.

How does is work?

You can download the app for PC, Mac, Android , iPhone and Blackberry smartphones. Once downloaded you choose a unique user name and password and you are ready to start communicating with other Kik users for free across different devices (phones, tablets, computers etc).

Other users will only see your username and uploaded picture. Email addresses and phone numbers are not shared.

Although the cost is free, if using Kik on your phone network (ie not at home with your wifi) you will be using part of your monthly usage allowance. Each phone contract is different so you may want to see what usage allowance your child’s phone has. If you go over your allowance, then your phone company will start charging you for exceeding your limit.

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Netflix

What is it?

Netflix is a video streaming service which allows users to watch films and TV programmes through an electronic device (Computers, Games consoles, tablets etc).

How does is work?

Users pay a monthly subscription to watch the company’s range of programmes and films.

To use it, users download the app on their tablet or games console or head to the website if viewing via their PC. Users select a unique username and password and enter credit/debit card details to start their subscription. To stop subscribing, users need to log into their account via a computer and cancel, otherwise monthly payments will continue to be taken.

Does it have security settings?

Netflix does have a section to its app that is just for children and young people ensuring that content is suitable for the age of the user.

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Google+

What is it?

Google+ is a social networking site, similar to Facebook, where you can find friends and follow things you like.

How does is work?

To create a Google+ account, users will be asked to provide a few pieces of information, including your name, birthdate and current email address and an accompanying photo of yourself .

Once registered, you will be directed to your Google+ page where you will be prompted to add friends that Google+ thinks you will know. You can add friends to one of four ‘circles’ – family, friends, acquaintances, and following, the latter being people’s feeds that you choose to follow.

The main screen is like a Facebook feed where you can post status updates. On the left menu you will see links to popular and advertised content.

On the right menu is a ‘hangout’ which shows the people in your ‘circles’. You are able to text and videochat here.

Does it have security settings?

You can easily choose who you share your posts with, by only sharing with specific ‘circles’.

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StumbleUpon

What is it?

StumbleUpon is a discovery engine (a form of web search engine) that finds and recommends web content to its users. It enables users to discover and rate web pages, photos, and videos that are personalised to their tastes and interests.

How does is work?

To join StumbleUpon, you can either sign up with your Facebook account details or a unique username and password. It will also ask you for your date of birth and gender. Once your account is created, you are presented with a page full of categories, such as humour, action movies, mythology etc. You select the ones that interest you. When you have done this, you are presented with your first website or media, suggested to you by StumbleUpon. You can either give it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. To go to another site, you click on the StumbleUpon logo at the top of the page.

Does it have security settings?

You can choose to share your activity on StumbleUpon via your Facebook profile. This can be deselected upon registration.

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Instagram

What is it?

Instagram enables users to take pictures or video, choose effects to change their look and feel, then post to Instagram. Users can share their photos to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks. Other users can like your photos/videos and comment on them. Users can follow other users whose photos/videos they like.

How does is work?

Instagram is only available for over 13 year olds.

Users can sign up to Instagram via computers, tablets and on their phone, using their Facebook log in details or use a unique username and password.

Once signed up, you can upload photos from your smartphone, tablet and computer.

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YouTube

What is it?

Youtube is simply a site where users can upload videos from their phones, tablets or computers. Part of its attraction is each time someone watches your video it gains views, so the most popular videos can have millions of views.

Users can comment on videos (unless the uploader has turned comments off) which can create pages of positive and negative comments which are largely uncensored. Users can also vote to ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ a video.

Youtube also streams commercial content from providers, such as the BBC, and also premium content, such as the latest films, to view online. Payment is made via credit/debit card.

How does is work?

To view videos, you don’t have to have an account, but to add comments you will need to register. Youtube is owned by Google. If you are a Google-registered user, you already are a YouTube member. To join, you choose a unique username password and enter basic details about yourself (no billing information required).

To upload videos is straight forward. Most smartphones have the ability to send videos recorded on them directly to the site. All you need to do is log in. On computers, it is equally simple. You log onto the site and choose ‘Upload’ from the top of the page.


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