The Internet is an amazing resource, but sometimes this could also be hazardous to us. Here are some tips on how to minimize the risk when surfing the Internet.
The Carly Ryan Foundation is a non profit charity created to promote Internet safety. We support families and the community through education, counselling, engagement, promotion and political advocacy.
Here are our top tips to share with your family about internet safety:
- Remain as anonymous as possible – KEEP ALL PRIVATE INFORMATION PRIVATE.
- Talk to your kids about the various scenarios that can happen online and what they can do if ever confronted by an inappropriate internet user.
- Encourage your kids to come to you with any online concern, let them know they will not get into trouble… create an atmosphere of trust at home. It is not the internet that is bad, it is the people that use it to take advantage of youth either physically, emotionally or physically that is unacceptable.
- Teach your kids to never share any personal information about themselves or any one else in your family. It is important to look after the entire family when using the internet. Never share phone numbers, where they live, the school they attend etc…
- Always read through the ‘Terms and Conditions’ before downloading any applications or when signing up to social media sites. Often hidden in these Terms and Conditions is your permission for service providers to share your location as well as sharing your private information and photos with third parties.
- Regularly check your profile privacy settings. Application and social media networks update these settings and reset to public access as a default making profiles viewable by anyone around the world.
- Turn off location services to your childs mobile phone and camera. Location Services can be found in privacy via your settings. Turn off the location function to the camera as well as any other apps that don’t require location details.
- Remember that nothing is temporary online and there is no such thing as privacy online.
- Anything you say, post or participate in online can’t be taken back. Even if you delete information or a post it is very easy for others to copy, save and forward it to others. Deleted files are still retrievable, as most applications will store pictures, information or posts on their company servers for years. Many service providers are based overseas therefore do not have to comply with Australian laws. Be mindful of this when visiting international sites.
- Think before sending a photo to anyone online or via text as once they are posted they can’t be retrieved. Sending and/or sharing inappropriate or sexual photo’s may seem harmless to a teenager but a photo may be viewed and shared by many and can turn up anywhere, once sent it is impossible to control or retrieve! In South Australia it is against the LAW to send, share or be in possession of a photo with nudity or a sexually graphic nature if the person is 17yrs and under.
- Teach your kids to never participate in Cyber Bullying; treat others as they wish to be treated. Remind them that there are offline consequences to online choices. Be a good role model, remember your children look to you, they watch how you react to situations and learn from your actions.
Carly Ryan Foundation www.carlyryanfoundation.com