shutterstock 196784018 - smallAll across Australia Schoolies celebrations are about to begin for many year 12 students. While travelling for Schoolies, or celebrating at parties, young people will undoubtedly have their smartphones with them along the way.

Below we've put together some tips for young people to ensure they use their smartphones safely.

Avoid risky behaviours

What happens at Schoolies doesn't always stay at Schoolies - especially if it's recorded in an image or video on a smartphone.

Social media is great for sharing photos and staying in touch with family and friends, but remember, it can be used to share potentially damaging materials. Have fun at Schoolies, but avoid the danger of inappropriate images or videos being shared online by not doing risky things such as sexting.

If you find that inappropriate images or videos of yourself have been shared online there are steps you should take to have these removed.

Firstly, report the content to the social media service or website and request that it is taken down. If you're under the age of 18, you can make a complaint about the inappropriate material to the Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner. The eSafety Commissioner's Office may be able to order the website to remove the content.

Any children or young people (including those over the age of 18) who want legal advice about an online incident can contact the National Children's and Youth Law Centre (NCYLC). The NCYLC provides free legal advice to children and young people and often deals with online safety issues. You may also want to report the incident to the local police.

What to do if your phone gets lost or stolen

It's easy to get caught up while celebrating and enjoying your freedom, but remember that smartphones are valuable items and are attractive to thieves. If you don't look after your smartphone it may get lost or stolen.

Keep track of your phone and ensure it is safe at all times. We recommend securing your phone with a passcode so if it is lost or stolen it's harder to access.

If your phone is lost or stolen, notify your telco as soon as you are aware that it is missing so they can block it from being used. Once you've reported it to them, no further usage can be charged to you. You should also report the theft to the local police.

If you have a dispute over the charges on your phone bill after your phone has been lost or stolen you should notify the telco. If you can't reach an agreement with the telco about the charges, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). They can help you to get the issue resolved.

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