Being online can be fun, sociable and inspiring. We want you to enjoy the time you spend online at our sites and using our services. For that reason, we’ve prepared a few tips to help you stay safe when online.
It is important that when you chat, use instant messenger (IM), or participate in other forums, you keep the following things in mind:
- Be discreet. The information you provide is often public, for all to see. Do not share information or images that you do not want the world to know about or see. Think – your information could be passed on.
- Be anonymous. Do not share private or very personal information. Never post or send anything that can be used to locate you or another person offline, such as a full name, email or home address or phone number.
- Be distant. Do not arrange to meet in person anyone you’ve met online. If you must, only meet somewhere that is safe and public, tell someone your plans and then bring a friend along. If you aren’t an adult, get your parent or guardian’s permission first and take them with you.
- Be honest. You may be tempted to pretend to be someone you are not. The other person may also do the same thing. They may not be who they say they are.
- Be nice. Don’t take on bullies or cyber-bully anyone else. If someone taunts you, walk away from the computer. Report the person or behaviour to an adult or administrator. It’s supposed to be fun, right?
- Be clean. Do not open, respond to or forward an email or IM unless you know the person who sent it to you and you’ve checked it for viruses. The content could contain damaging software (such as spyware or viruses) or it might be offensive.
- Be secure. Use security software (such as virus scanners). Ensure your system is up-to-date and protected in case an email from someone unintentionally infects your computer.
- Be private. Never share your password or password hints with anyone.
- Be inventive. Ensure the online IDs you create do not reveal your personal information. Be creative and unique!
- Beware. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is! Check the facts if you aren’t sure about something. And remember – you’re in control. You decide which activities to participate in and what information you provide.