Every day we are inundated with tons of online content. With the overwhelming number of new apps, devices and games, it’s easy to overlook some of the basic ground-rules for staying safe online. Here are the Digital Law Company’s top ten tips for a safer online experience:

  1. Remember the billboard test – If you wouldn’t put the message you’re about to send on a Billboard with your face, name and school/employer on it, don’t put it online, and don’t let it exist in digital format at all! Digital content is dangerous content.

 

  1. Manage your digital CV – Reputation is everything. Prospective employers and universities will Google you and may not hire or accept you based on what they find. Google yourself and consider deleting content which would not look good to a prospective employer or university.

 

  1. Use privacy settings – having a private account is not negotiable. Open accounts on social media mean that all your content is accessible to people you don’t know.

 

  1. Keep passwords safe – Select non-obvious passwords (“Password123” is not going to cut it!) and don’t’ give your passwords to anyone but your parents/guardians.

 

  1. Stranger danger – people online are often not who they say they are. Exercise caution when accepting friend requests and do your best to ensure people are who they say they are. Do not message, phone, “add” or meet anyone  you have not met face-to-face in real life unless your parents/guardians say it is okay.

 

  1. Don’t share personal information online –  Do not give information like your full birthday, ID/passport number, address or telephone number to anyone online. Doing this can put you and your family and friends in danger.

 

  1. Disable location services – sharing your location can put you and your friends/ family at risk. Turn off location settings for social media apps so that your location is not made available to anyone.

 

  1. Nudes are never ever a good idea – Do not send, take or ask for nudes. If you or the subject of the nudes are under 18, doing so can be a criminal offence relating to child pornography.
    1. If someone asks you to send them any pornographic material (like sexy or naked pictures), do not send them anything (obviously). No means no – not ‘ask me again’ or ‘try to persuade me’.
    2. If someone sends you inappropriate or pornographic material, do NOT not show it or send it to your friends, and tell a trusted adult.

 

  1. Do not open any suspicious links or attachments

 

  1. Always alert a trusted adult when:
    1. You receive suspicious phone calls or messages from people you don’t know.
    2. You receive harassing, threatening, disturbing, offensive, illegal or inappropriate content.
    3. You receive any content or are part of any conversation (even if you started it) which makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe, nervous or unsettled

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