We’ve all heard of it. We all know about it, but what exactly does it mean to stay safe online?
Did you know that 1 in 20 Children / Young People admitted arranging a secret meeting with someone they met online? That means arranging to meet with a person you really don’t know. They could be anyone.
It’s important to remember that we don’t know who’s on the other side of the screen. The television programme “Catfish” on MTV tries to highlight the dangers of talking to strangers online. It’s based around people who have built up strong emotional relationships online, without even meeting each other. These people have been “together” for months, even years. It proves that people can make fake profiles to trick you.
Here’s one for the younger readers: why not make your parents aware of what websites you are using, and allow your parents to check them out. Remember that you shouldn’t use social networking sites until you are 14, but when you do, why not talk to your parents about staying safe and if you’re being bullied online let someone else know.
To the over 18s amongst us, remember that something as simple as applying for magazine subscriptions can affect your credit rating using just your name and date of birth, so make sure you don’t give any of these details to anyone you don’t know very well. Personally, I only have my first and middle name on Facebook so only people I know in real life know my surname.
Also, never tell someone your address, where you work, or where you hang out, unless you know them in real life. Here are a few tips of my own for staying safe online:
- Make sure you change your password on a regular basis, and make sure it’s a mix of letters, numbers and cases, for example: HuDie123. Sometimes you can even put in special characters like < and *
- When searching for things using Google or any other search engine try using more than one word, and change your safe search settings to safe, otherwise you may end up with dodgy results!
- If you are going to leave your computer unattended in a public place, or with friends around, make sure you log off before doing so
- If using a computer in a public place such as a library or internet cafÃ©, make sure you log out of any accounts like Facebook or E-mail accounts
These are just a few simple tips from me, if you can think of any other useful ones please comment below and share what steps you take to stay safe online, so we can all be safe together.
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Photo credit: Taylor Sloan