If you’re thinking about joining or using a social-networking site such as Facebook or Twitter, keep these ideas in mind:
- Consider site privacy and logistics policies. Some sites allow only users to access posted content, while others have lax privacy policies.
- Restrict access to your profile and information. Do not correspond with anyone you don’t know or trust.
- Do not post or reveal personal information. Likewise, don’t post anyone else’s personally identifiable information.
- Use unidentifiable screen names. Make sure your screen name does not reveal your name, age, hometown, or residence.
- Do not trust strangers. Do not provide sensitive financial information over the Internet or phone unless you are communicating with a verified and secure location. This kind of information is typically associated with credit cards or financial statements, things that you probably don’t have to worry about until you are a little bit older.
If you have any questions about being safe with social-networking, your parents are great people to ask. The Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and other social-networking sites are a fun place to connect with your friends and family, but be cautious of strangers, computer viruses, and hackers. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Copyright 2010 Javelin Strategy & Research (revised)