posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety

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Facebook now claims more than 900 million members, and unfortunately some of those individuals have malicious intentions. Members must remain vigilant about their security and privacy settings to protect themselves from identity theft and potential predators. Facebook has a Privacy Settings page that allows users to customize their experience by choosing who can search for them, who can view their profile, and who can send them messages. Members can specify what information applications can pull from their profiles and manage the applications they have installed. They can also limit the visibility of past posts and control what can be posted on their profiles by other users. Individuals should take care to ensure that their contact information is not available to the public. Only their friends, or no one, should have the ability to see this data.

 

When creating a Facebook account, individuals should use a dedicated e-mail address not linked to any bank accounts or other websites. If someone hacks a Facebook profile, he or she may gain access to the e-mail account. It is also important to use strong passwords to prevent unauthorized account access. Users must be careful about the information they post and the links they follow because posting sensitive information or following links to spyware or malware jeopardizes their online security. Users should log out when they finish each session because Facebook may monitor their activity on other websites if they do not.

posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Defamation, Internet Safety

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Online defamation has become increasingly prevalent in the past several years, necessitating legal action in many cases. Social networking and blogging have led to a sharp increase in online defamation, especially since many individuals believe the Internet to be an unregulated frontier. Courts have consistently affirmed that libel regulations apply to online content just as they do to traditional forms of media. Some victims have successfully tried online defamation cases, often citing the Communications Decency Act. In the coming years, it is likely that legislation pertaining directly to online defamation will make cases easier to try. Part of the problem, however, lies in proving who wrote the defamatory content, which is often posted anonymously.

 

Legal action remains tricky for online defamation, and many individuals turn to other ways of dealing with the problem, such as reputation management and search engine optimization. Through these techniques, individuals can push defamatory comments from the first pages of Google search results, minimizing the impact that such content has on their lives. By providing truthful, accurate information and encouraging others to make positive comments, most individuals can successfully battle online defamation outside of the courtroom.

posted by on Cyber Safety, Cybersafety, Internet Safety, Parenting Teens

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Many parents are concerned about what their children are exposed to online but don’t have a clear understanding of what the dangers are or how to prevent them. Especially because of the popularity of social networking, parents must play a proactive role in protecting their children on the Internet. To promote safe online behavior, parents must familiarize themselves with the threats posed by the websites their children often visit. They should visit the sites themselves to learn about what their children are able to see and do, and then research the primary concerns associated with those sites. This information will enable parents to teach their children about the situations they will likely encounter and the appropriate responses.

 

Communication is one of the most important aspects of keeping children safe online. Children should feel comfortable discussing their concerns, and parents should regularly monitor and ask about Internet usage. Parents must ensure that their children understand basic Internet safety rules, such as not sharing photos, addresses, phone numbers, or other personal information. Parents may also want to consider managing usage by setting limits and keeping computers in open spaces. Internet filters and other software designed to manage family safety help keep children away from unsafe content and give parents the ability to monitor what their children do online.