Today is internet safety day, so today, I’m going to give you five tips to stay safe on the internet. No matter your age, race and gender, you are still vulnerable on the internet. The tips below are for everyone, so don’t feel excluded.
1) The internet is global. This means that there are people online from all over the world at all times. There is no “safe” time on the internet where you are less likely to be harmed from the internet. Keep your guard up at all times.
2) Keep personal information personal. Once you put something onto the internet, there is no getting it back. All it takes is one person to screenshot your information, or repost it to another site and you no longer have control over it. Don’t put any of the information you don’t want public online, as you’ll never get it back.
3) Use privacy settings. Social networking sites come built in with settings that allow you to hide the information you post, to stop it being publicly available. Certain settings make it so only your friends can view what you write online. Take advantage of these to stop your information being seen to the public. This leads me onto another point.
4) Be sure you know who you’re adding. All it takes is for one rouge person to add one of your friends. As soon as they accept that request, they will come up as having mutual friends. This is how the chain of events start. Even if someone has one hundred mutual friends, it doesn’t mean they legitimately know you. You should always be sure you know someone before adding them on any site.
5) If you see it – Report it! If you see anything happening that worries you, report it. There are numerous websites that allow you to report any things that worry you online. Most websites come with an built in reporting feature. If there is no way of reporting something through one particular site, there is a website especially for reporting online events. The organisation is “Child Exploitation & Online Protection” (CEOP). This is a police run organisation that focuses on helping resolve issues on the internet for children, but can also be used by adults. They can be found here: http://ceop.police.uk/
Remember: If at any point you feel a life is in danger, or a crime is being committed, contact 999 and ask for the police. If you can see a crime has been previously committed, contact your local police department by dialing ‘101’ free from any phone.
Stay safe, and have fun on the internet!