Modern technology gives us the convenience and freedom of communicating with people around the globe for work, play, entertainment, and buying and selling. With so much available for everyone, chances are you will run into a few undesirable and phoney business sites. Fortunately, there is a way for persons to protect themselves and their families from predators and fraud. Listed below are the top 10 internet safety rules to follow.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Children and the Internet

You should equip yourself with enough information about Internet dangers so that you can explain Internet safety to your children. That is why it is important to keep the communication line open and casual between yourself and your child when you instil rules about Internet use. You can follow these tips to advise your child on safe internet surfing:

– Don’t ban your child from surfing the Internet altogether. Instead, instil rules for surfing

– When your children chat with people, make sure the computer is in an open area

– Tell them to report any content that makes them feel uncomfortable or funny

– Teach them to never make friends with people they don’t know

– Choose sites that have privacy policies with children in mind

– Have a security filter on your computer

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Stay Private

Some sites that require you to give out personal information when they don’t really need it to fall under categories such as online surveys and forms that ask for your age, yearly income, etc. Something as simple as a business site asking for your personal information so that it can send you a newsletter can collect enough information about you, information that you may not want to share. Minimize sharing personal information online. If you are joining a social media site and must put up birthday information, display it as private rather than public.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Keep Yourself Safe

It takes very little information for hackers to steal your identity or spy on you. Adding safety software to your system is an extremely effective way to prevent spying. Spyware comes with additional tools such as automatic monitoring, time-saving networks, and keystroke recognition.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Guard Your System

Make sure your privacy settings on all social media sites are set for family and friend access alone. Although your account may be set to private, social media policies constantly change and the information you pass on to others might be visible to them and also accessed through their pages. Make sure you close out your email and social media accounts properly and never press the ‘remember my password option on your laptop or computer.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Delete Old Accounts

If you stop going on a certain social media site, it is best to delete it rather than leave it open. Having any kind of information floating around in cyberspace will leave you vulnerable to the attacks of other people. Sometimes even deleting is not enough to get rid of everything, so you might want to change your password, erase and delete some of the information you had previously uploaded, e.g., photos and documents, and then deactivate your account.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Would You Really Put that Out?

Even though that picture of someone doing something shouldn’t appeal to your sense of scandal, turn the tables and think how it would feel if someone did it to you. If you are thinking about exposing yourself in a photo or telling an off-colour joke, imagine your parents or someone in authority reading or viewing it and see if you would be comfortable with it. Remember, whatever you place online for the world to view can’t be taken back. Once uploaded, forever online.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Stick with Who You Know

The temptation to add as many people for social status and popularity may seem strong, but it is an irresponsible and immature thing to do, especially while you are still in school. If someone wants to meet you in person and you just communicated with them on a casual basis, it is best not to do it.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Embrace Anonymity

There is no need to use your real name on social networks. Use a nickname and try to use different accounts for work, recreation, and family. Never use personal information like your mother’s maiden name or your school name. If it is required for a bank account or other personal online form, use a fictitious name only you know about. Also, remember never to give your password out.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Respect Others

Sometimes people get caught up in a ‘fun’ idea and may suggest to you that you hack into a friend’s or co-worker’s email or social media profile. While it may seem exciting and easy to get away with, it is wrong and against the law and displays immature behaviour.

Top 10 Internet Safety Rules: Send Direct Messages

Unless you are confident about what you display online, keep your chats and conversations private. General announcements are fine but sending direct messages while on social media sites provides you with more safety. Creating a personal account for this purpose is advisable.