Today is my brother’s birthday and he just got a Facebook. I just thought today I would touch on the importance of internet safety and stuff.
First: PRIVACY SETTINGS: check your privacy settings to make sure no one can view anything you don’t want strangers seeing. Setting these at the highest setting may make it a little more difficult for you but if done properly, people won’t be able to see your personal information like where you live and go to school. Be sure to read the “fine print” because some settings open you up to allow people who are “friends of friends” to look at your stuff and if this friend does not have their privacy settings set correctly, this could be a way strangers look at your profile.
Next: PASSWORDS: make sure you don’t share your password with anyone, except maybe your parents. We’ve all see what terrible things hackers can do with access to social networking sites. And, make sure your password is strong (most sites are case-sensitive now, so use a combination of capital and lower case letters and numbers); make sure your password is not something that could be easily guessed by an outsider. If you have to write your password down, keep it in a safe place away from your username. This will make it more difficult for people to access both your username and password at the same time. Beware of phishing sites and software; these sites can be built to look like Facebook and other social sites and will force you to log in using your username and password. If you think you have fallen victim to this, change your password, that usually fixes it. Also, Facebook has this cool page with the settings stuff where you can go to see what devices you’ve authorized (computers, phones, etc) and where they are transmitting from. This means if you live in Texas and this page says you’re logged in from a computer in China, you can remotely log out from that source and change your password.
Finally: FRIENDS: watch who you are friends with on Facebook. Only add people you know personally and trust. On the internet, people have the ability to lie and change who they are. Unless you are sure the person you are adding is the person you think you are adding, don’t add them. Adults can pretend too easily to be kids so make sure you are not opening yourself up to strangers. Also, if someone offends you in anyway, delete and block them. People won’t be able to tell that you’ve blocked/deleted them unless they specifically look for you. Don’t let your friends include you in things you don’t support and/or agree with. There are ways to untag yourself and to prevent your friends from being allowed to tag you in posts.
Good luck and be safe.