Online Safety Tips

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Online Safety Tips

We all want to be and feel safe and confident when we are online and talking to our friends and colleagues. The following tips are generally viewed as best practices to be applied when using “social media” accounts.

1. Passwords

Make sure that your password unique, not easy to guess and long, there are numerous free password generation tools available online, even if you don’t want to use such a tool to generate your password they will educate you as to what is and is not a safe password. Oh… and don’t forget to log out when you have finished being online so no one else can use your id to send or post messages.

2. Apply Privacy Settings

All the popular social media sites have privacy settings that can be set upon creation of an account, or updated later, so that your personal information is made available only to those people you want to make available to. However you need to be aware that some sites are totally open to the public and accordingly so is all the information it passes on, so make sure that you check the site policy on how it keeps and stores your information.

3. Protect Your Personal Information

Make sure you and you family do not publish personal information, such as your address, location, email address, date of birth or home/mobile phone numbers.

4. Uploading Images & Comments

Make sure you are careful what images or comments you and your family upload and post online, even to trusted friends. What may be a funny incident or slightly embarrassing picture or story today may come back and haunt you later as something that can cause someone major distress. Consider it this way if you wouldn’t want shout something out or show something to a room full of 100 people, you should not post it online either, as once photos or comments are in cyber space they are impossible to call back or get removed.

5. Be open with you family

Encourage your family to be open and talk about their use of “Social Media” especially if they come across anything that upsets them or they consider to be offensive. Make sure that you record and date events and report them to the site. Most sites have a procedure for dealing with inappropriate content or behaviors.

6. Meeting Online Friends for the first time.

This is an absolute no! Unless accompanied by a parent or a supervising friend/adult and you have told some one else. In all cases you should never meet someone you have meet online in person on your own in real life, without a responsible adult being with you so that they can verify there are who they say they are.

7. Online Scams

It is a truism “that if it seems to good to be true, it is most likely, is to good to be true”.  Make your family aware that online of offers that induce you to buy or click a link that you are unsure about should be ignored.

8. Online Reputation

Be mindful of your online reputation; in all cases be respectful and genuine. More and more employees are looking at social media sites to get an insight and another reference point into the person they may be considering to employ. Be mindful that your online (social) reputation stretches further than you may want it to.

9. If in doubt?

Leave it out , If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t post it online.

10. Keep aware of trends in social media

The best way to be a aware is to educate yourself in what social media sites your family members’ are using, we all know of Facebook and Twitter and yes currently they are the most popular by the sheer number of users but there are 100’s of emerging and less refined sites that specialize and target specific interest groups ranging from art to movies, or just even teens.

Social Media Dangers

Social Media Dangers

25% of Facebook users are under the age of 10

The average teen has 425 Facebook “friends”

55% of kids have shared personal information with strangers e.g. photos & personal descriptions

24% of kids have had private/embarrassing info made public

38% of 13-18 year olds have received a sexually explicit message