Monday, February 11, 2013

Online/Digital Relationships

Social networking sites, like Facebook, Twitter and Tumbler allow you to stay in connected with your friends and increase your social circle. But they can also allow others to monitor your life and use information to hurt you. And because you provide personal information on profiles, blogs, and message boards, these sites may possibly be very dangerous.

It is important to wise and have healthy relationships, whether they are with people you know in person or online. When people talk about using social networking sites safely, they usually focus on strangers or predators. But you are just as likely to be harassed or abused online by someone you know. There are ways to have fun online and stay safe at the same time.

                        Don’t do or say anything online you won’t say in person.

                        Only post things you are okay with people seeing and knowing. Phone numbers and addresses
                        will let people contact you directly, things like school and team names, landmarks and photos
                        may also make it easier for people to find out where you live, hang out or go to school.

                        Remember, it’s not just about you. If you post information or photos about your friends or family,
                         they can be at risk.

                        Don’t respond to harassing, abusive or negative comments. It won’t make the person stop and it
                         could get you in trouble or put you in danger.

                        Use the privacy preferences to keep your page as private as you can.

                        If you are in or coming out of a dangerous relationship, don’t use any form of technology to
                        contact your abuser. It can be dangerous and may be used against you in the future.

                        Save or keep a record of all harassing or abusive messages, posts, and comments in case you
                         decide to tell the police or get a protective order.

                        Never give your passwords to anyone other than your parent or guardian. It’s a good idea to
                         choose passwords that aren’t easy to guess, do not use the same password for all your accounts,
                         and to change passwords regularly.

                        It may seem crazy, but if the abuse and harassment will not stop, changing your username and
                         email address may be your best choice.

                        Always report inappropriate behavior to the site administrators.

                        Trust your instincts! If you think something is wrong or are feeling threatened, tell someone who
                         can help. 

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