Young adults and children are especially susceptible to the threats that social networking sites present. Although many of these sites have age restrictions, predators may misrepresent their ages so that they can join. By teaching our young adults and children about Internet safety, being aware of their online habits, and guiding them to appropriate sites, parents and guardians can make sure that they become safe and responsible users
- Limit availability of personal information– Limiting the number of people who have access to contact information or details about interests, habits, or employment reduces exposure to bullies that you or your child do not know. This may limit the risk of becoming a victim.
- Limit the amount of personal information you post– Do not post information like: your phone numbers, address, parent’s names, religion, birthdays, school name, schedules or routines. If your friends post information about you, make sure the combined information is not more than you would be comfortable with strangers knowing. Also be considerate when posting information, including photos, about your friends.
- Remember that the Internet is a public resource– Once you post information online, you can’t retract it. Only post information you are comfortable with anyone seeing, including profile and blog information and photos.
- Be wary of strangers– The Internet anyone can misrepresent their identities and motives. Limit who are allowed to contact you and who can see your information. If you interact with people you do not know, be cautious about the amount of information you reveal or agreeing to meet them in person.
- Be skeptical– Don’t believe everything you read online. People may post false or misleading information about various topics, including their own identities. Take appropriate precautions and try to verify the authenticity of any information before taking any action.
- Evaluate your settings– Use and customize your site’s privacy settings to restrict access to only certain people. Still a risk that private information could be exposed despite restrictions, so don’t post anything that you wouldn’t want the public to see. Sites may change their options periodically, so review your security and privacy settings regularly.
- Be wary of third-party applications– Third-party applications should be use with caution. Avoid applications that seem suspicious, and modify your settings to limit the amount of information the applications can access.
- Use strong passwords– Protect your account with passwords that cannot easily be guessed (see Choosing and Protecting Passwords for more information). If your password is compromised, someone else may be able to access your account and pretend to be you.
- Keep software up to date– Install software updates when received, because they frequently patch security vulnerabilities. Some system offer automatic updates, use enable them.
- Use and maintain anti-virus software– Anti-virus software protects your computer against known viruses. Ensure automatic updates are enabled.
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