image from: indonetworksecurity.com
This September we are kicking off an Internet Safety month to help spread awareness about the dangers of Social Media and the Internet as a whole.
Here is one big and overlooked fact about the internet:
Everything you upload onto it is there FOREVER.
You might think you deleted it, but somewhere deep down in the coding it is still there, waiting for the right person to pick it back up and spread it everywhere.
This is especially true when it comes to Social Media. Any picture, any post, anything you like/retweet/comment/post (You get the idea) can all be seen for a very long period of time. All it takes is for someone to dig down deep enough to find it.
You might think that politically incorrect picture was funny at the moment, but your employer years down the road might not think so. He/she might go so far as to fire you for it.
That seems a little extreme, I know, but people have been DENIED jobs simply because the employer did not like what they were putting on their personal Social Media profiles.
Social Media posts can also be used as evidence in court cases. This is the real deal ladies and gentleman. See this link from Social Media Today if you do not believe it.
The bottom line is that what you place on the internet follows you, and is a direct resemblance of who you are in the real world. The Internet gives us a lot of anonymity, but it is much more traceable than you might realize.
Safety should be a number one priority, for parents and children alike.
There are people out there that make it their life’s work to steal credit card information, Social Security numbers, Private files and photos, and many other personal items that you do not want others handling.
They make it their job to try to ruin your life, so you need to be ready to defend yourself.
Keeping protected is easier than you might realize.
First and foremost, DO NOT PUT THINGS ONLINE YOU WOULD NOT SHOW IN PERSON. This cannot be stressed enough. If you would not show it to your own grandmother, it is probably not a good idea to share it on your Facebook. The consequences of someone finding it on your profile are numerous and will be painful later.
You don’t have to be a saint on your profiles, but just try to think about how others will react reading what you share and how they may feel about what you say.
Secondly, download a security program onto your computer if you do not already have one. Scan your computer regularly for viruses or malware. It sounds harder than it is. Your part of the process usually consists of one click. It is too easy not to do it.
Finally, try to stay off of sites that contain malicious cookies. Cookies are little bytes of data that track where you go on the internet. Most of them are helpful, but some can be dangerous to your computer and your privacy. Sometimes it is hard to tell what sites are harmful. Use your best judgement, and if you are not sure, close out and go to a different site.
The Internet is a powerful tool that helps people become more knowledgeable about the world and brings us closer together. This power can be abused though, and it is up to us as informed citizens to make sure that we do not let ourselves become victims.
Have fun, but stay safe.
Comment below if you have any tips or advice on Internet Safety. Spread the word, and from all of us here at the AAYC, have a great Labor Day!