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Internet Safety

Practicing Internet safety not only helps to protect you, but also your family, friends, and community. Remember, YOU may not always be the intended victim - you could post information about a younger sibling being home alone for the weekend, or that your best friend's family recently won a lot of money. Information like this can put friends and family at risk. Any information you post online can be viewed by hundreds of people, who are able to save your photo, personal information, and anything you post online to their personal computer. 

Read some real-life examples from the FBI here:

Online Safety Tips145978_9240.jpg

  • Be careful about someone offering you money or gifts for nothing. Be extremely wary of offers that involve a meeting or someone coming to your house.
  • Turn off your computer when you aren't using it
  • Cover your webcam when not in use
  • Don't post any cell phone numbers, addresses, or the name of schools.
  • Be cautious of the photos you post online, because they can identify your sex, age, town, after-school activities, sports team, high school etc., and can be copied and saved by anyone.
  • Be careful of the photos and information you save to your computer, if someone ever compromised your computer, they could use it against you
  • Don't add people as friends to your site unless you know them in person.
  • Don't give out your password to anyone other than your parent or guardian.
  • Know that not everyone you meet online is who they say they are. Their picture might not be their own, and their personality and life may be completely fabricated.
  • Don't make or post plans and activities on your site.
  • Don't post sexually provocative photos.

Your online profile can be viewed by anyone, including coaches, parents, relatives, employers, and college admissions officers. Are you comfortable with what your profile says about you?

Some helpful suggestions: 577027_90982051.jpg

  • Check the profile settings of the social networking sites that you use to find out who can view your profile and what your privacy settings are
  • Set profile settings so that people can only view your profile if you have approved them as a friend
  • Use an avatar or other non-identifiable image to represent you in your profile
  • Delete any friends who continuously leave inappropriate comments
  • Report comments to the networking site if someone violates the site's terms of service
  • Change the settings on your personal messaging system to save a history of all your conversations and save or print questionable activity, including date and time145978_9240.jpg

When To Tell

Trust your intuition: Always go with your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right to you or a friend, tell someone.

Be Careful Of:

  • Anyone who wants to send you photos or videos containing obscene content of youth 18 and younger, as the possession, manufacturing, or distributing of child pornography is illegal
  • Anyone you don't know who asks you for personal information, photos, or videos
  • Unrequested obscene material from people or companies you don't know

More Information: