Internet Safety Facts – Things Everybody Should Know.
The internet safety facts below are simple truths that you may or may not know.
Internet Safety Facts – Photographs and images.
- Photographs shared on the internet can never be deleted, once they are shared on the internet you lose all control over what happens to them.
- Some devices that can take photos will embed the precise geographic location, time and date the photograph was taken. If you do plan on sharing a photograph on the internet make sure this information is removed.
- Other people may share photographs that you or your children are in, these can also contain embedded information about the time, date and location the photograph was taken.
- Young people sometimes don’t realise the above and send pictures to friends, only for those friends to post those pictures on to the internet, those friends have unknowingly posted information about location, time and date on your behalf.
- Pictures posted to social media sites such as Facebook can be tagged by others. Tagging means identifying someone on a photograph.
- Once you lose control of a photograph, it can crop up at any time in the future when you least expect it. Something that was OK at one time in your life might not be OK many years down the line. Think carefully before posting any picture that might compromise you in any way.
- Don’t post pictures of certificates or achievements that can be linked to places, times and events. These can be used to locate or impersonate in the wrong hands.. Similarly think carefully before allowing kids to post pictures that show sports uniforms – these can be used to identify schools or clubs they belong to.
- In some cases pictures that are sexually explicit are sent to boyfriends/girlfriends only for those pictures to end up on the internet before, during, or long after the relationship has broken down. This is known as “Sexting”, a distortion of the word “Texting”.
- Children who “Sext” can in some cases be charged with creation and distribution of child pornography.
- In many cases once a person has sent a sexually explicit image to someone that same image is then used at a later date by the recipient to blackmail further sexual images from the victims, this is know as “Sextortion”. In many cases of Cyber bullying pictures obtained by others are involved (e.g. child takes picture of another child in the changing room).
- A picture taken on a phone can be sent to anyone else in a matter of seconds. Control of that image os lost the minute send is pressed.
Internet Safety Facts – People and Friends
- Anyone “met” on the internet can pretend to be anything they like. They can pretend to be female, they can pretend to be 10 years old, they can pretend to be a talking dog. There are people out there as you are reading this trying to snare children by pretending to be children.
- Online predators are clever, manipulative and devious, and there are more of them online than you can possibly imagine.
- Understand that there are many ways to “meet” people on the internet, and predators know and use them all. “Meeting” people online is not something that can only happen in chat rooms or on social media.
- Anyone can build up many false profiles, and these can be used to build credibility or fake internet identities, these tactics are used by paedophiles, criminals and others.
- There are many more dangers than internet sexual predators alone, the internet is a little like a large city, full of all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds and from all parts of the world. The only difference is you can’t see the other people in the internet city and they can hide behind any identity they choose.
- There are some nasty people out there who take great pleasure in leaving insulting, offensive or defamatory comments – their only goal is to get a response from innocent people. These are called trolls. You will find them all over the internet, they get a kick from making derogatory, rude, nasty comments about anything and everything – ignore them.
- Employers, universities, and other organisations are known to use social media, and other internet sites when researching prospective candidates. Anything public on the internet can be found by anyone who wants to learn more about you.
Internet Safety Facts – Connected Devices
- Many types of device can access the internet, and you should be aware of the capabilities of all devices in your home. The roles of devices are now blurred, you can make telephone calls on your laptop, browse the web on your phone, and talk to people on the other side of the world whilst playing a game on a games console.
- Portable devices such as mobile phones,tablet devices (iPad,iPod Touch, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire) and some games consoles can be used just as easily as the computer in your home to “meet” people on the internet.
- Some types of device contain components that can identify where the user of that device is when the device is in use or used for certain activities.
- Whilst devices and applications are improving letting people know what they divulge and to where, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure you understand how your devices work, and if caring for children, also how their devices work and are used.
- Many applications available on tablet and smartphone platforms have access to other personal information stored on a device, such as contacts.
- Even applications that inform you and allow you to turn of certain information sharing can contain flaws that inadvertently share your information without your knowledge. This has happened in the past and will undoubtedly happen in the future.
Internet Safety Facts – Communicating Online
- Anything you say or do in public places on the internet can be recorded, monitored, searched, indexed and archived. In the same way large organisations will research people on Facebook to try to understand their character, other organisations will research in other places ranging from forum posts, to newspaper articles to twitter.
- It can be very easy to divulge personal information without even realising you are doing it, clever criminals and predators can build up a picture of potential victims over many months often by gathering a little piece of information at a time. Sophisticated gangs of predators will often have many people each trying to elicit a single piece of information from a child, they then put things together like a jigsaw to work other more complicated information out.
- Internet communication makes it difficult to get away from things, so called Cyber-bullying amplifies the impact of “normal” bullying because it can seem like there is no escape, particularly when young people are always connected via smartphones or other portable devices.
Internet Safety Facts – Digital Persona Or Profile
- Every activity you participate in on the internet has the potential to add to your “Digital Persona”, this applies to children in your care as well.
- A very simple way to determine what public information is available on the internet is to do some so called “Ego-Surfing”. Simply search for yourself on Google or any other search engine and see what kind of results you get. If you have a very common name you might want to search for yourself in combination with other words thrown in such as the town in which you live or the school you attended.
- If you are an adult responsible for children you can can also try to search for your children online in the same way and this will give you an idea of their digital persona/profile.
- By engaging in Ego surfing you are effectively engaging in what a potential employer, partner, stalker, or anyone with a mind to research you or even your kids would do.
Internet Facts – Interesting Reading
- Mobile Apps Take Data Without Permission (What else are you or your kids sharing without realising it)
- Why iPhone Photos Are Dangerous (information about the less than obvious extra data embedded into photographs, in this case taken with the iPhone in particular, but equally applicable to other devices)
- Sex and Technology, What’s Really Going On (some interesting links to surveys of American teens, their attitudes to and participation in “Sexting”)
- Egosurfing more information on ego surfing and how it can and is used.