Staying Safe Online – Some Practical Advice

The Internet gives us a chance to reach across continents and oceans with a mere click of a mouse. These days we can sit in our bedroom and see and speak to someone that is halfway across the globe. However, with the convenience comes danger, and you should actively consider how you can stay safe online. New websites and social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are giving Internet predators and scammers more opportunities to take advantage of people. With that in mind, this article provides some tips on ways that you can stay safe while surfing the internet.

First of all, if you participate in any social networking sites, keep your profile limited. Make sure that you are sharing enough about yourself that people can get to know you, but never give out any personal or sensitive information like a home address or a telephone number. It’s probably OK to share some information like the state or maybe even city that you live in. However, even though you share photographs and information about yourself, you should still be cautious with what you share and remain a bit anonymous.

You should be careful about the pictures that you post on these sites. Many young girls and boys think it’s cool to post provocative and explicit photos on their Facebook and MySpace profiles. Pictures like this are highly inappropriate however, and are bait for Internet predators who are constantly trolling social networking sites. It’s common for online predators to pose as a teenage girl or teenage boy, and feign an interest in vulnerable teens. They aim to befriend an unwary teen, gain their trust, and eventually persuade them into meeting in real life.

If you are a parent of a teenage boy or girl who is active in social networking sites, make sure that they are doing it responsibly. As a parent, you have a right to monitor what your child is doing online. Many experts say it’s a good idea to know your child’s login information to social network sites and emails so you can keep a watchful eye on their internet activity.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that with the convenience and accessibility of the internet comes inherent dangers for those who let their guard down. Be aware of what you and your family members are doing online, and take proactive steps to monitor and or restrict activity to keep your family safe.