Tips to Stay Safe Online
Bad things can happen online as they can happen in real life. Therefore, we need to learn how to protect from actions that can hurt us, our families and our friends. Learning about the dangers online and taking action to protect ourselves is the first step in making the Internet a safer place.
- Keep your personal information private – avoid sharing your name, address, phone number, password, birthday, and school name.
- Think twice before you post anything online – once posted, it will be there forever.
- Be nice – treat everyone the way you like to be treated
- Speak up – tell someone you trust if you see anything inappropriate.
- Think before you click – don’t open email from strangers, don’t click on links for unfamiliar sites.
- Know your apps – check with your parents before downloading an app and review the privacy settings.
- Connect only when needed – disconnect your device from the Internet if you don’t need it.
- Don’t talk to strangers – tell a parent, teacher or an adult you trust if a stranger contacts you online.
- Don’t meet with strangers – don’t agree to get together with someone you “met” online without checking first with your parents or a trusted adult. Be sure the meeting is in a public place with adult supervision.
- If seems too good to be true, it probably is – don’t click on links offering anything free. Most likely it’s a trick designed to make you give up personal information or to automatically install malware or spyware.
Top 5 Facebook Scams
- Who viewed your facebook profile – this scam lures you with messages from friends or sometimes malicious ads on your wall to check who has looked at your profile. But when you click, your profile will be exposed to the scammer and worse things happen afterward.
- Fake naked videos – there are tons of fake naked videos being posted all the time using the names of celebrities like Rihanna or Taylor Swift that sometimes make it past the Facebook moderators. These scams are in the form of an ad or a post and have a link to bogus YouTube videos. That site then claims your Adobe Flash player is broken and you need to update it – but malware is installed instead!
- Viral videos – viral videos are huge on social media platforms. If you click on one of these “videos” you’ll be asked to update your video player (similar to the scam above) but a virus wil be downloaded and installed instead. To avoid this, type the name of the video into Google and if it doesn’t have a YouTube or other legitimate site link, it’s likely a scam.
- Fake profile scam – scammers are stealing the name and pictures from an existing profile and “friending” the real person’s friends in efforts to scam friends and family by faking an emergency. Be very cautious of accepting friend requests from someone you’re already friends with.
- Romance scams – a specific type of “Fake Profile Scam” where con artists create a fake profile using the photos and stories of another person, and then develop “relationships” with their victims over posts, photos, and Facebook messenger. These scammers typically shower you with romantic language, promise happiness, and eventually con you into giving up personal information, or even money. Avoid personal and financial heartbreak, don’t “friend” people you don’t know in real life.
Facebook is used for connecting with people you know. Be especially cautious of “friending” strangers, and of clicking on links in suspicious posts, and in messages. Stay away from these traps if you want to avoid giving away personal information or getting your computer infected with malware.
Itʼs very easy to misunderstand texts or online chat messages and to understand how someone is really feeling when youʼre reading a text. Things to Do:
- Make good choices in the way you communicate with others.
- Identify situations when it’s better to wait to communicate face-to-face rather than over text.
- Be sure you choose the right tool for your next communication or call the person/talk in person to clarify how they are feeling.