Staying safe on the internet
Why do I have to be careful on the internet?
- Some internet users may have bad intentions, such as:
- exploiting (taking advantage of) others
- invading others’ privacy
- fraud (tricking others in order to receive money)
- viewing or photographing others’ bodies for sexual exploitation
All of the above are crimes.
If we are not careful, we can potentially
- lose our privacy
- become victims of identity thefts
- lose money
- have our private photos sent to pornography sites
- have unwanted sexual interactions and potentially unwanted pregnancies
- get in trouble with the law
- feel really hurt
- affect our family and friends
- It is necessary to protect ourselves so we don’t become victims of crimes
How do I stay safe on the internet?
Here is a list of recommendations to help you and your family be more informed internet users and stay safe.
- Use strong passwords (a mixture of letters and numbers, upper and lower case). Don't tell your password to anyone else (except your parents or caregivers).
- Set Facebook or other social network accounts to the “privacy” setting so that only friends you really know can view your profile.
- Sit down with someone with lots of experience to go over what is and isn’t ok to do on the internet.
- Never give or send personal information online (don’t give out your name, address, your phone number, the name of your school or where you work).
- Never give out your Social Insurance Number, credit card numbers, PINs, or banking information.
- Never send personal naked or other inappropriate photographs of yourself to anyone.
- Don’t use chat rooms; it may be possible to block these with safety features provided by your Internet Service Provider or filtering software such as “K9 Web Protection”.
- Filtering programs and software are available to restrict personal information from being sent online.
- Research what “screening” tools are available. Often your Internet Service Provider has a (parental) control option which will block certain material that the Internet Service Provider deems unfit based on a “bad site” list.
- Always use a “screen name” (not your real name) when interacting online.
- Keep the computer in a common area such as the living room or kitchen.
- If you plan to meet with someone you met online, ask for your parents' (or caregiver's) permission, tell someone you trust, and take someone with you. Always meet in a public place such as a coffee shop.
- Tell your parents (or caregivers) if something does not feel right. For example, if someone wants to meet with you alone, asks to see a naked photo of you, asks for money, or asks questions that make you feel uncomfortable.
Resources on internet safety
- Our Clinic's Transition factsheet - Internet safety
The following articles are from NortonTM by Symantec: