Statistics report that the number of adolescents interacting online is as follows:
Eleven to Nineteen (11-19) year olds at 96%
Seven to Eleven (7-11) year olds at 86%
February 5th marked the 10th anniversary of Safer Internet Day. This event involves parents, schools and organizations coming together and collaborating on how to make the Internet a safer cyberspace to network and socialize. The Safer Internet Day website also includes a quiz for people to review and test their skills on internet safety.
With today’s cybercriminals and an overwhelming number of teens being cyber bullied, many communities are trying to make sure that Internet Safety is our top priority in protecting our children within the Internet space.
Listed below are the top 10 tips that we can communicate to our young Internet Users in making sure that they are aware of the safety methods they should follow while using the Internet:
If someone sends you a friend request on Facebook and you do not recognize/know them, do not accept the request; although it may be “cool” to have 1,001 friends, you can be putting yourself at risk.
If you receive a pop-up message or something that you are not sure of, do not click on the link; be cognizant of scams and get your parent or trustworthy adult to review.
NEVER post or give your address, telephone / cell phone number or any other personal information to individuals you do not know and NEVER agree to meet someone in person that you don’t know that you met online. ALWAYS consult your parent / guardian when ordering merchandise as your address would be required.
Never post private information or pictures online that you would not want everyone to see. Although YOU may have only shared it with your friend, this information is now public and anyone can forward this information anywhere and continue to post; this could potentially cause embarrassment and be the beginning of cyber bullying.
Always password protect your phone and any other electronic devices that could be vulnerable to someone logging on as you. If you are not using your cell/computer iPad etc…. make sure that it is locked.
Make sure that you always log completely out of accounts that you were previously viewing. Criminals could retrieve your information and use that information to their advantage.
Email and online accounts are on the rise for being hacked by cybercriminals. If you receive an email, request, or link from a friend and it is not something he/she would normally send to you or you recognize that is not the normal way that person speaks/types, be weary and make contact with that friend to make sure they are the ones that sent it. Someone could have potentially broken onto their account and are trying to “trick” you or possibly send you a virus.
Regularly check your Facebook settings because Facebook often updates them. You only want your family and close friends to be able to view your profile information. Make sure that your Facebook account (and any other social networking account) is in lock down mode.
Don’t be scared to speak up if you see something that looks suspicious or doubtful on the internet. Immediately get your parent without question.
Use a combination of characters, upper and lower case letters, and symbols when creating your password.
The longer your password, the more difficult it is for someone to ‘guess’. Make your password as long as you can, taking into consideration that you will have to remember it.
Never use something from your ‘favorites’ as your password (i.e. your dog’s name or your favorite restaurant); these passwords would be a simple guess for someone trying to use your account.
Use different passwords for each website
Never share your password with anyone- not even your BFF. Make sure to always keep your password safe.
This message and top 10 tips have been brought to you by a Community That Cares.