Important Advice for internet users

  • Privacy and security are real issues for internet users and social networking sites frequently change and update their policies to address this. Checking security settings is important to see if options have changed.

  • Users need to be careful who they accept as a ’friend’ on any social networking site.
    • Some people impersonate others or create whole new identities for themselves, either for fun or with malicious intent.
    • Some of these frauds are obvious while other imposters are well disguised.
    • Criminals may also obtain information from other sources, such as stolen mobile phones, enabling them to imitate real friends. They can then use access a social networking profile to gain more information and steal that user’s identity.

  • When somebody asks to be a friend on Facebook, users can check their identity by asking them to answer a question that only the real friend would know or go to their profile and look at their photo's to make sure you know them.

  • Users are advised to generally aim to keep private information private. This is especially important for users who have a large network of friends that they don’t know in the real world.

  • Children and young people are particularly tempted to build huge lists of friends and are less guarded about their privacy.

Parents can:
  • Set rules—make sure your child knows what information they can share or post online and which websites they can visit. Ask them to tell you before they post any personal
·         information online, including their full name, mum or dad’s name, their address or school. advise children to set profiles to private so that only people they want to see it can
·         Encourage children to think before they put anything online. Information posted online can be there indefinitely
·         encourage children to be careful when making new friends online—  they might not be who they say they are—and never arrange to meet an online friend unless a trusted adult is with them
·         report to the ACMA any material suspected of being prohibited
·         report abuse or inappropriate content to the website administrator and show children how to do this
·         Help your child to create screen names or IDs that do not communicate their gender,age, name or location.
  • Help your child understand that what they say and do online is important. Encourage your child to use the same manners, communicate with others in the same way and report others who aren’t being nice, just as they would in the offline world.
  • Advise your child not to respond to any negative messages and to report any negative messages they receive to you or another trusted adult.

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