The online world is a fantastic place full of information, entertainment, social networks and much much more. However, students should always try to be as safe as possible when interacting on the internet, here are 10 tips on how to be safe online:
1. A password is not a password if everyone knows it:
- Create a strong password that is not easy to guess. - Don't provide your password to others, it is your privacy and security at stake so keep it secret even from your friends.
- Never click "remember this password" on computers you do not control or own.
2. Be cautious when opening emails or messages:
- Do not click on links in emails from people you do not know.
- Don't provide personal information to people online, even if they offer you gifts or free samples.
3. Don't accept every friend request:
- If you don't know someone in "real life" then don't accept their friend requests on social networking sites. Once someone is your friend on these sites they can see all of your information.
5. Assume that everything you put on a social networking site is permanent:
- Content posted on these sites becomes the property of the sites owners and are stored on their servers permanently.
- Even after your account is deleted, information (status updates, photos, videos) you posted are still stored on the servers of these sites.
6. Be careful about installing extras on your site:
- Sometimes these "apps" can be used to "hack" your account and gain personal information about you. - Always check that an "app" is legitimate and has positive feedback before installing it.
7. Do not allow social networking sites to scan your email address book:
- This can lead to your friend being spammed with unwanted emails or invitations.
8. Don't lie about your age:
- Sites such as FaceBook require you to be at least 13 years of age, if you are under this age wait until you turn 13 before you join up.
9. Keep records of everything:
- If you are being bullied online or someone is making unwanted advances to you firstly, tell your parents or an adult (teacher) about what is going on. Secondly, keep track of all of the conversations, this will make the job of the authorities much more easy.
10. Be aware of what you have posted and what others can find out about you:
- Know your own online reputation. Does what you have found represent what you want people to know/think about you?
- Be sure that you have not been posting personal information (home address, phone number) about yourself.
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