Never post any personally identifiable information. Use the privacy settings in your social networking site.
The more information you post about yourself online, the easier you make it for someone to locate you in real life.
How would you feel if I:
- Found your first and last name on your Bebo profile?
- Found your age on your Myspace profile?
- Was able to figure out what you looked like, and what school you went to from a photo someone else posted of you on Facebook?
- Looked up your last name and suburb on whitepages.com.au?
- Figured out how to get to your house using Google Maps?
You should use the privacy settings in your social networking sites to make sure you know how much personal information you are sharing with the world.
For MySpace, check out the MySpace Privacy Settings
For Facebook, check out the Facebook Privacy Settings, and consider using the 'Limited Profile' feature. You should also to check whether your 'Public Search Listing' setting is on or off - if it's on, your profile may be found in a Google search in the near future.
If someone gets your email address and starts annoying you, you can delete the email address.
If you start getting lots of spam emails, you can delete the email address.
If someone takes over your Facebook or MySpace profile, you can just delete the email address the Facebook or MySpace profile was linked to.
We know you don't want to get rid of your usual, normal every-day email address. You tell us all the time. So here's how to set up your own disposable email address:
- Sign up for a free Gmail address
- Once you've set up your Gmail address, click on the 'Settings' button in the top right corner, and go to the 'Forwarding and POP/IMAP' tab.
- Select the circle next to 'Forward a copy of incoming mail to ...', and enter your other email address here
- Click the 'Save Changes' button at the bottom of the page
That's it! You can now use your new Gmail address to sign up for whatever you like, and all emails sent to the Gmail address automatically get forwarded to your other email address.
Lots of people tell us that bullies feel they can be cruel to other people over the internet because their actions can't be traced back to them - they think they're anonymous.
This is wrong. Anything you do online is tracked, and can be traced.
Every action you take online is tracked using your IP address. Your IP address is like a digital signature for your computer. It's unique, and traces back to your physical location and/or your ISP, like Telstra Bigpond or Optus. Have a look at www.whatismyipaddress.com to see how easy it is for someone to locate you using your IP address.
Every website you visit logs your IP address, every email you send contains your IP address in the headers, and every time you log onto Windows Live Messenger your IP address is recorded.
This may sound really simple, but so many people forget it!
Don't tell your password to anyone, not even your best friend. The person who is your best friend today, might not be your best friend tomorrow.
Think of all the nasty things that someone could do to your MySpace profile, or to your Windows Live Messenger buddy list, if they had your password. Someone could even pretend to be you, online.
It's pretty simple, and you've probably been told the same thing by your parents and teachers since you were very young: Treat others how you want to be treated.
On the internet, this is known as netiquette. You shouldn't say anything nasty or mean about someone else online, and you shouldn't use capitals when you're typing - IT MEANS THAT YOU'RE SHOUTING!
Another really simple point: Think before you post any information online. If you are not comfortable with the comment or picture you're posting being seen by the entire world, then don't post it. It doesn't matter that your MySpace profile is private, or if you're sending that picture to a friend. There are still many ways in which your 'private' information on the internet can become 'public'.
If you would like more information on any of the above tips, please contact us