Internet is a vast source of information and entertainment. But, if you are someone who stays online for long, you should be aware of its darker side. Millions of cyber criminals are waiting to pounce upon unsuspecting teenagers wandering freely in the digital world. There is no question of staying offline. The only alternative is to remain safe. Take the following measures to keep yourself away from identity thefts and other troubles.
Don’t reveal your identity
The advice may appear repetitive. But, a majority of teenagers simply ignore this primary precaution. Don’t use your real name when logging into chat rooms or any other websites where you have to communicate with others. Remember, even the small details like the school you attend can help criminals locate you. Keep your user ID and password safe; don’t reveal it even to your friends. One of them may log on a website and may post something offensive. It might be a joke for your companion. But, you may get into trouble with your school, with your parents or even with the law enforcement agencies.
Internet privacy is a myth
Know that world is getting smaller, becoming a global village with the ever-expanding networks like Google and Facebook. Do a search on any of these websites. The information you get is what the public will find about you. Take care to check the privacy settings of a website before posting your picture or any other personal information.
Involve your parents
You may be taking all the measures required to stay safe online. But, it is always great to have someone oversee your activities on the internet; especially on social networking websites. Take advantage of the experience of the elderly; they will help you foresee dangers and stay away from troubles.
Know what is required
When subscribing to newsletters or email updates, try to stay minimal when it comes to personal information. Don’t reveal something just because the website asks for it. Evaluate what is needed and act accordingly.
Make use of direct messaging
Most of the social networking websites offer facilities to chat privately. A negligence here will be paramount to talking to millions out there. If possible, send emails from your personal account.
Close unused accounts
If you don’t use a particular platform, close your accounts there. Leaving out personal information on places where you don’t frequent may cause trouble.
Don’t try to meet your online friend
Remember, a person may not be the one you say he/she is. If you are forced to do so, inform your parents about it. You should also value others’ opinions. You may not agree with them. But, that doesn’t give you the liberty to be rude to them. In the same way, don’t respond to rude remarks or comments. Refrain from accepting pictures from your online friends. If you happen to see pornography or anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, report it to the authorities.
Install a good antivirus software on your computer. Don’t ignore the prompts to update it at regular intervals. Doing this will help you stay safe from fishing websites.