There are many important reasons for you to use caution when searching online. There are many threats that could jeopardize the safety of your personal information, your identity, your family’s important personal and business files and even your health and safety. Setting rules and guidelines for searching safely online will help you to avoid many of the mistakes people make that put them in a bad situation. Here are some examples that should help you stay safe online.
Be very careful what you tell people online.
Know what services you and your family use online
Get to know what services you and your family use online and what types of privacy policies they have. If you have children that use the Internet, have them show you what they use online and how to access it. Be familiar with the services that are available to children on the Internet, and let your child know which ones are allowed and which aren’t. Find out if your child uses an e-mail service online and know what their user names and passwords are. You should be aware if there is any type of unacceptable conduct online for your children. Many computers have the option of setting up specific logins for each member of the family. You can monitor their activities on the Internet as an administrator of the computer and set limits of how long they can be logged in and what sites they can or cannot go to.
Set reasonable expectations about what you find online
It’s important that to understand you can’t believe everything you find on the Internet. People are not always who they seem online, and there is no way of telling if someone is telling the truth or not. Someone could say they are a twelve-year old girl when they are really a forty-five year old man. Stick to sites that you trust. If anything “seems” fishy, there is probably a reason for you to be suspicious. This concept is important to keep in mind for people who want information from you or who want to “be your friend”, but it is also important when shopping online or doing research. Although we want to think that most people are good and have good intentions, there are some who are online only to take advantage of others. Scam artists are very good at making themselves look reputable. If something seems too good to be true it probably is. If there is a site that is offering a digital camera for $200 dollars less than everyone else who sells it, there is probably something that should be avoided.
Just remember that the Internet offers a tremendous amount of information in a short amount of time. The best rule to follow when searching online is to be alert and aware of what is going on around you. Trust your instincts and you will be able to search safely online.