Internet Tips to keep you safe on Facebook and MySpace

During the summer break, children may have a greater opportunity to go online and increase their risks associated to unsupervised use of the internet. Internet sites such as MySpace and Facebook have dramatically increased in popularity amongst our youth. These sites should only be accessed after your children have been educated about the dangers that exist when using these applications.

It’s also important to remember that the use of social networking sites may increase the risk of cyber-bullying and identity theft, if you don’t manage your privacy settings appropriately. Both children and adults alike can be victimized.

The following are some very simple steps to help you minimize the risks associated to using a social networking site:

· Think about which site you want to use.

· Don’t use a weak password. Use a combination of letters, numbers and characters where possible.

· Make sure privacy controls are activated.

· Don’t post your full date of birth.

· Post only information that you are comfortable with others knowing about you.

· Don’t post personal photographs, as they can be used for cyber-bullying.

· Remember that questionable images/messages about you may cause you embarrassment at a later date.

· Be cautious of new online friends who want to meet in person.

· Monitor your children’s on-line activities.

· Remember – you can’t take it back! Deleted information from your personal computer can remain on other people’s computers.

· Go with your gut feeling; if you feel uncomfortable or threatened, as a result of something directed at you online, tell an adult or report it to the police.

Always remember;

· There is no expectation of privacy on the internet.

· You should assume that EVERYTHING you do on the internet is permanent.

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