Internet SafetyBy: Maria Markulis
Are YOU Safe?


Cyber Bullying/Harassment/Social Networking Sites
Cyberbullying occurs when someone insults another person- whether it's using Facebook, sending text messages, or spreading spiteful rumors about them via the internet- using graphics, hateful words, etc. with any type of technology. Cyberbullying can be very hurtful- the statistics of teen suicide due to cyberbullying are overwhelming. Social networking sites, such as Facebook and MySpace, have made cyberbullying easy- and in some cases- common to due. Cyberbullying is also a form of harassment, in the fact that when someone bullies another person, they are harassing them. There are several steps you can take to prevent cyberbullying and harassment on social websites.

Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying/Harassment

-If you or someone you know is being bullied, whether it's through the internet or any other type of technology, tell an adult. They can help you put a stop to it.

-If you see someone being cyberbullied, stand up to the bully and defend that person, even if you don't know them. Even something as small as telling the bully to leave the target alone can make a huge impact.
-Social networking sites are a prime spot for cyberbullying and harassment to occur. If you have a Facebook or MySpace page, be careful about who you 'friend' and what your privacy settings are.
-Same as above: if you or someone you know is being harassed online or cyberbullied, tell an adult.

-If you have a child that has a Facebook/MySpace/etc. page, check it often. Be aware of what is going on in your child's life. If you see someone cyberbullying your child, talk to them about it. You might not even want them owning a social network profile for those same reasons.

Chatrooms/Sexting/Sexual Predators
Chatrooms are a type of online communication, where you can talk to and have conversations with people all over the globe. While chatrooms may seem like a fun place to talk to and meet new people, they can also be potentially dangerous. Sexual predators are people who pretend to be someone they’re not on the internet, mainly for sexual reasons- sending questionable pictures back and forth (sexting).

Ways to Stay Safe While in Chatrooms:guide_chatrooms.png

-Don’t give out too much personal information! Even telling a stranger online what your full name is could have its consequences.
-Remember- you never know who’s behind the screen. Someone who says they’re your age might actually be twenty years older than you. So use caution when talking to strangers!
-Ask a parent before you join a chatroom. They might want to put up security features and profanity filters before letting you join.

-Same as above- don’t give out your personal information to random people you meet online. Think twice before saying your real name, birth date, etc. while in a chatroom.
-Never send out explicit photos of yourself, whether it’s through text or through email. Especially if you don’t know the person. Even if you delete them after you send them, the pictures will come back to haunt you eventually.
-Use precaution while talking to strangers on chatrooms. If they seem to be older than they say they are, or if they keep on asking you personal or inappropriate questions, leave the chatroom immediately.

-If you have a child, and you don’t want them using chat websites, then take the time to sit them down and explain this to them. Block all the chat websites that you find to be inappropriate, and set strict internet rules.
-If your child does spend large amounts of time on chat websites, set up filters to block profanity, and keep a close eye on them when they log onto the chatroom.

Identity Theft/Scams/Emails/Bank Account Info/Passwords
Scams are everywhere. In fake emails, popups, in adds... And as harmless as they may appear, even small things like "You've just won a million dollars!" or "Click here to get a free iPad!" could cause identity theft, whether it's asking you to give out your password, social security number, or bank account information. There are several ways to spot a scam, and a lot of ways to prevent it.

Ways to Prevent Scams/Identity Theft

(Kids and Teens)
-If you're playing on a website, and suddenly an add telling you you've just won something pops up, do not click on it. Exit out of the window right away. If a pop-up asking for your personal information- social security number, address, etc- pops up, do not enter in information. Exit out of that too.

-Do NOT give out your personal bank account information or passwords online, unless it is a website that you know and trust.