Discover our top Internet Safety Tips For Teens
Don’t share your passwords with anyone, except your parents. Someone might use your password to log into your account and mess with it. It is also recommended that your password is something people will not be able to guess. Stay away from birthdays and addresses or telephone numbers. For extra security, you can use numbers and letters together to form your password and avoid dictionary words.
Have different passwords for different websites that you use. In the unfortunate event that someone might guess your password and log into your account, it is best to keep your other accounts protected. Do not have the same password on different websites.
Careful what you share online. Having an agenda on MySpace, for instance, allows people you have not met before know where you are going which could be a dangerous thing. Sharing personal information is also not welcomed. Do not share where you live or your phone number with people you do not know.
It is advisable to lock all your online profiles to “friends” only. This prevents strangers from knowing personal information about you and lessens the possibility of someone using personal information to harm you.
Have anything that offends you online reported. Most websites allow you to report anything that threatens your safety ranging from hate speech to cyberstalking. If you have your concerns about someone you deal with online, you must tell your parents and report the incident.
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When emailing someone you don’t know, make sure your IP address is not traceable through the email you sent. It is best to use a throwaway Gmail account if emailing someone you have not met before.
Have an anti-virus installed on your computer. After all the precautions have been taken, it is necessary to install an anti-virus system on your computer. If you do not know how to do that, ask an adult for assistance. Anti-virus software must be running while you are online as it prevents defective files from accessing your system and possibly stealing your personal information.
Do not meet someone you came to know online alone. This is extremely dangerous. A 13-year old girl was prey to a sexual predator who she encountered on MySpace.
Do not engage in any kind of activity that is categorized as “sexual” online. If someone online asks you to do something that is sexual you must tell an adult. If the age of the person permits it, this could count as a sex offence and the offender must be punished. It is better to stay away from participating in anything of any sexual nature online altogether. You might have any pictures or acts that you trusted someone with being used against you in the future.
Last but not least, do not take part in any activity that might offend others. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are acts that are punishable by the law. If you see anything of that nature being practised on someone you know, advise them that they must first report that kind of abuse to the website and then seek help from parents or teachers.