ARTICLES, INTERNET SAFETY. FACTS ABOUT CYBER BULLYING
How To Protect Your Online Privacy
Protect your information online?
Many of the social networking sites that youth are now accessing are asking for a lot of personal information that is not needed or required by the site. Try to take the following steps when signing up for anything online:
- Check to see that it is a protected site (look for the little padlock symbol).
- Try to only type in your name and email address even though there may be many lines to fill in (often that is all that is required)
- Always remember less information is better
- Be careful what kinds of information that you are sharing (remember, it’s the whole world that may gain access to your page).
- Always password protect your files and information and do not share your password with anyone.
When setting up your social networking site like Facebook or MySpace, always check to make sure that you go through all of the privacy settings and secure your information.
If you don’t remember to do that, anyone, at anytime can scroll through and find your name and access your personal information, your friend’s information and all pictures can be taken, copied and distributed anywhere.
Learn more about online safety tips.
What can happen to our information when clicked?
Online postings become permanent once they have been ‘clicked’ into cyberspace. Many youth do not understand the permanence or immortality of posting their pictures ‘out there’ forever.
With the various new social networking sites, youth are engaged in connecting with their ‘friends’ often very innocently engaging in personal conversations and sharing personal information. Most youth when asked today, are confident that it is only their ‘friends’ who are accessing their personal information. What the message that needs to be shared with youth is that as soon as they post any information or pictures online, it is no longer private but in a public domain that can be distributed and shared by just a ‘click’. Learn how to talk to your kids about safe social media habits.
Internet safety for teens
- Always try to think about WHO your email message, your text message, your facebook message, your photo is going to?
- Remember, that you have absolutely no control over what happens when you send your messages or photos to someone else. Anyone can press, click and forward your information to anyone else in the world
- It is important to know that once you go onto the public domain, you have now lost control over your own information.
- It’s also good to remind yourself, that often the friends that we have today, for whatever reason, may not be our best buddies next year and you have no way of knowing what will happen to the confidences you may have shared.
In extreme cases when an online crime has been committed, local authorities that work in the field of child exploitation are often faced with the task of taking down inappropriate or pornographic pictures that have been posted online. The youth may have innocently sent a picture that was only meant for one other person to see without realizing that it was sent to many people and distributed. Sending an inappropriate picture of oneself is considered to be distribution of porn (even though it is you!!!) For anyone distributing the picture, it becomes a crime of distribution of porn. The authorities take these crimes very seriously. Learn protection from online predators.
There have been cases of innocent, fun pictures with friends, somehow getting into the wrong hands and being morphed and sold to porn sites, with no hope of ever removing them.
It is also important to know that the authorities can only remove the original text or photo. There is no way to find out how many times your information or picture was clicked on.