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Advice for Youth

Modern technology helps us easily communicate with friends and understand the world around us. VK strives to make the world a more open place for communication and new experiences, and we do everything in our power to ensure that you feel comfortable while using our services. We also want to help you use the internet in an informed manner.
How to Choose Your Circle of Communication and Protect Your Personal Space
Only you can decide who you want to communicate with and which public pages you want to read. You can customize your VK news feed yourself by following profiles and communities that you find interesting.

If you encounter threats, insults or harassment, inform us about it by using the "Report" button. This button can be found in profiles, communities, posts, comments, photos, videos and stories. We review all reports without exception.†

Remember that on the internet, just like in real life, it is important to treat other people with kindness and respect. Anything said or written online, both good and bad, can spread very far, very quickly. Attacks are unacceptable and can have very serious consequences for everyone.

Unfortunately, some people behave aggressively online, insulting others for sake of insulting others. They feed off of reactions to their insults. This is what they thrive on and is the fuel driving them forward. Without getting an angry or fearful response, such people often lose interest and abandon what they're doing.

If you encounter harassment or someone is bothering you, you can add their profile to your blacklist. To do this, go to this user's page and click on the "Block" button under their profile photo. After doing this, they won't be able to visit your page or write you messages. If you fear for your safety, you should ask your parents or a trusted teacher for advice.
How to Interact with Strangers
In the modern world, knowing how to use the internet safely is no less important than, for example, knowing traffic rules. For children, itís just as important to know to look both ways when crossing the street as it is to know that they should be careful talking when to strangers, that they shouldnít bully other children regardless of their age or gender, and that VK has privacy settings that allow them to share content with only those who they want to see it.

Learn more about how to manage your VK privacy settings in this article. We also strongly recommend you to carefully create and protect your password. You can read more about how to protect your password here. For now, these articles are only available in Russian.

You probably already know that 'you can't trust everyone', both in real life and on the internet. Scammers can try to trick you and pretend to be a friend or acquaintance. This situation could happen to anyone. Be sure to pay special attention to messages asking for help or containing prize offers. They could have been sent by scammers to gain your trust and get access to personal information, such as your passwords.

Sometimes scammers create websites that look like VK in order to steal your password. This process is called phishing. Remember that VK will never send you emails asking you to enter your account password or bank card details anywhere. If you receive any suspicious emails, make sure not to click on the links in them or respond to them. Check the browserís address bar to verify that you are entering your VK login information on the real VK domain: vk.com. You can find out more about how to protect your page in the "Security" community.

We are sure that you know the ins and outs of the internet very well. If this is the case, donít be afraid to help out family members in different situations they might face online. They will be glad to talk with you and grateful for your help.
How to Fight Bullying
Bullying can be found both in school and online. This might consist of insults, rumors, ridicule, intimidation, or things such as posting photos of you without your permission. If you or one of your friends are being bullied, remember that there are people who love you and would be glad to help.

If you are being bullied. Remember this important fact. None of this is your fault, and this could happen to anyone. You are not alone. There is always someone nearby who you can reach out to for help in difficult situations. This could be a close friend, a family member, a teacher, or a social worker. Take care of your safety and share your thoughts with people you trust. Please do not try to respond to your abuser by acting the same way they are acting towards you.

Also, remember that you shouldnít measure your own self-worth based on other peopleís success. People portray their life on the internet differently than what it is actually like. Everyone tries to focus on something important or good, but in actuality, we all get sad sometimes, feel lonely or end up in unfortunate situations. Many people consider how other people think of them to be very important, therefore they try to look much better on the internet than they actually are.

If you are worried about a friend. You are doing a good thing if you are helping someone who is suffering. Let that person know that you care, that they are not alone and donít deserve to be treated the way that they are. You can try to convince them that responding to a bully with aggression will make the situation worse. Try to spend more time with your friend, and ask mutual friends to do the same. Every so often, ask if theyíre doing alright or if you can help them in any way.

If you realize that you cannot handle the situation alone or if the attacks are threatening your friendís health or life, you need to tell an adult who can help. Remember that this does not mean that youíre weak. Every individual has the right to safety. If you know that your friend is in immediate danger, please call emergency services at once.

If you are accused of bullying others. Bullying is unacceptable and unpleasant behavior. Even if it seems that someone is different from the rest, acts strangely or unfairly towards you, or if you donít like them, you shouldnít act rudely or offend other people. You can explain to this person that you donít like them and try to resolve the conflict together. Remember that they are not worse or better than you. Perhaps you donít like someone and donít want to be their friend, but you do not have the right to humiliate them or make them suffer. How you decide to behave is always your choice.

If someone was offended by your words or actions, apologize, even if you didnít have any bad intentions. Try to figure out how you offended this other person and talk to them, letting them know that it wonít happen again. Remember that we can all react to a single event differently. Bad situations might affect some people a lot stronger than they would you for example. Itís never too late to apologize and stop acting aggressively, even if the conflict started a long time ago. You are always able to change.

These recommendations were jointly prepared with psychologists.
What to Do If Things Are Bad
If you are currently going through a difficult period and need additional support, know that there are people who are ready to help you. You do not have to face your troubles alone.

Most of all, try to remain calm and relaxed. One of the best ways to sort out whatís troubling you is by talking with a friend or someone close. When you are ready, you can write or call your friend and ask to meet up. If this is currently not an option, you can call a volunteer at a crisis hotline.

You can read more about what you can do if you or someone you know needs support on this page.