Spending time on the internet is just a part of modern day life. From doing homework, to chatting with friends, online streaming videos, and playing video games; spending time online is both necessary and can be really fun. But how safe would you say you’re being online? We’ve put together these top five internet safety tips to help you keep having fun and to educate you on how to stay safe while doing it. Let’s jump into these internet safety tips so you can get back to using the internet safely.
1. If You Feel Unsafe, Tell Your Parent Or Guardian
Your time online is for you to do your homework, have fun and socialize when your parents allow it. They set rules to keep you safe, not to be mean or impede on your social life. At any time if you feel unsafe online or offline, tell your parents or guardians as soon as possible. Don’t be worried about them getting mad or punishing you right now. Seeking help is what you should do and your parents will be happy you did.
2. Keep What You Talk About & Share Clean
Talking about friends, people you don’t like, explicit activities, or sexual activities may sound like fun, but anything you say good or bad can be saved and shared with other people. Even if it’s deleted, nothing is ever truly deleted from the internet. The only way to keep your reputation intact and be safe from embarrassment is to keep it clean and not share anything you wouldn’t share with your parents or an important member of your community.
3. Don’t Share Your Passwords With Your Friends
It might not sound like a big deal, but don’t share your passwords with your friends. There are other ways you can show your friends that you care about them other than sharing things you should be keeping to yourself. Although you might not want to believe it now, relationships change and you don’t want someone who is angry with you to have access to your online accounts. So, stop sharing passwords and start exercising healthy boundaries. If you’ve already shared passwords with friends, change them now and politely explain that you need your privacy respected if you’re truly their friend.
4. Treat Others With Kindness
Treating others how you would like to be treated applies to your offline life just as much as it applies to your online life. The best way to keep yourself safe and from being bullied or harassed is to treat others with kindness. Yes, there will be some people online who will be rude or nasty. There’s nothing anyone can do to prevent that. However, if you treat others with kindness, you’re more likely to be treated the same. Don’t invite bullying, harassment or drama by starting it first.
5. Don’t Meet People You Don’t Know Offline
If you’ve made friends with someone online, the unfortunate fact is that it’s not safe to meet them offline. There’s no way of truly knowing if that person you’ve been talking to is who they say they are and meeting them in person offline can put yourself into a seriously dangerous scenario. Before you say your parents are overreacting or that nothing will happen to you by making this rule; don’t be so quick to write them off. They love you and it can happen to you. If you’re going to meet them anyway, do so in a very public place with at least one friend and let a trusted adult in your life know before going.