Before you log on, update your status, tweet, or post a selfie, make sure you are practicing Internet safety.
- + Keep Yourself Safe Online
Be respectful of others.
• Consider whether your actions contribute to creating a positive online community. Don't write mean things to others, belittle people, or spread rumors/gossip and never say things that might make others feel unsafe or uncomfortable, even if you mean it as a "joke." Never share private information, messages, photos, or videos about others because this is a breach of trust.
• Don't share personal or private information online - like your full name, school name, home address, phone number, or personal photos - with strangers or people you don't trust.
Safeguard security information.
• Keep passwords and PINs to yourself - don't even tell your best friend - but never hide this information from your parents/guardians. They'll trust you more if you're open with them, and if a serious problem occurs, they may need this information to help you.
Keep electronics in view at all times.
• Don't leave cell phones or other electronics out of sight. There are numerous applications and techniques someone can use to hack into or steal your devices.
Don't confide in strangers.
• Communication online is easier for people to lie about their identity. Someone you meet online may not be the best person to talk to if you are having problems.
Know your friends, contacts, and followers.
• These are the people who can see, share, and comment on what you post so you want to be sure that you can trust them. Only approve people you personally know. Block and report anyone who makes harassing, threatening, or inappropriate comments.
Don't friend people you don't know.
• Use privacy settings and don't accept just anyone as a friend. Do some investigating when you receive a friend request or someone wants to follow you. Who are they? Why would you hang out with them?
Never meet a stranger without parental approval.
• Don't arrange to meet people you met online without a parent's/guardian's permission.
Be cautious of messages from strangers.
• Don't open messages or attachments from people you don't know. In many instances it may be best to just delete them.
Be an ally.
• Support people who are targets of mean behavior and bullying by reaching out to the target and telling the agressor to stop. Report what is happening. Many online companies have anonymous reporting procedures, or you can tell a trusted adult.
Be a role model.
• Model positive online behavior by writing kind posts and messages and applauding positive content that affirms people and communicates respect.