Online Safety Guidelines

Here are the online safety guidelines I’m using with my tech classes this year.  New to the list are the WiFi rules.  What am I missing?

Posting & Sharing

  • Don’t share sensitive information:
    • social security number
    • passwords
    • birth date
    • email address
    • full name
    • phone number
    • address
    • schedule
    • gender
    • explicit, personal, or embarrassing pictures
    • information about your family
  • Be careful and thoughtful about what you post

Websites

  • Don’t trust unfamiliar websites
    • Don’t give personal information
    • Don’t create an account
    • Don’t use credit cards
  • Be smart about what you’re clicking on
    • Free music/movie downloads and porn sites are full of spyware and viruses
  • Be smart about what you’re searching for
    • Searches for popular celebrities can lead to spyware and viruses
    • Use safe search to filter results
  • Use a good anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware program and update it regularly

Email

  • Don’t even open spam emails
  • Be skeptical of emails claiming to come from banks or other large companies
    • Confirm issues via email or with a personal visit
  • Ignore emails asking for money or personal information
    • If it sounds too good (or bad) to be true, it probably is
      • You’re not getting money from a Nigerian prince
      • You didn’t win a trip to Disneyland
      • You didn’t win an iPad
      • Your friend didn’t get robbed in a foreign country
  • Use a decoy email account to sign-up for things you’re unsure of
    • If possible, don’t use your full name in your email address

Facebook

  • Don’t “friend” people you don’t know
  • Use strict security settings
  • Talk to your friends about the things they post about you

WiFi

  • Don’t connect via unfamiliar networks
  • Don’t log-in to anything while on unfamiliar networks

General Rules

  • Don’t communicate with people you don’t know
  • Use strong passwords
    • lowercase, uppercase, symbols & numbers
    • don’t use words and numbers already associated with you
    • (password protect your cellphone too)
  • Use an alias or only your first name
    • Use an avatar instead of a real picture
  • Log out / Sign out (first from the website, then from the computer)
  • Be nice — don’t make enemies
  • Ask a trusted, knowledgeable adult for help if you run into trouble

Remember

  • Anything you post online should be something you wouldn’t mind being online forever
  • Don’t do things that could attract unwanted attention
  • There are legal implications to what you do online and over the phone
  • There are ways of tracking what you do online and over the phone
  • No legitimate company will ever ask you you email your password or other sensitive information to them
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