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Online Identity Safety

Why to keep your identity safe

"Predators

Predators are always looking to collect information about their ... victims. This information may be used to identify, connect with, or manipulate... For example, if a [you] blogs about being misunderstood, a predator might provide a sympathetic ear in order to create trust and form a relationship. Predators may also try to encourage [you] into a sexual relationship by talking about sex, so [you] should avoid talking about provocative subjects with people they do not know.

Cyberbullies

Cyberbullies take their targets’ personal information and use it against them. They may copy and alter photos; share private e-mail or instant message conversations; and taunt their victims with emotional insecurities revealed in blogs.

Scammers

Scammers want to use [your] personal information to manipulate them. [If you] post e-mail addresses and phone numbers, [you] may be the target of spam, telemarketers, and e-mail scams.

College and Career

It is also becoming more common for coaches, college admissions officers, and employers to screen applicants by checking their online profiles and postings. An admissions officer’s decisions may be negatively influenced by a teen’s posts - for example, rude comments about teachers or inappropriate photos."

(Netsmartz.org, 2010)

Teen Resources

How to keep your identity safe online

  • Use privacy settings on social networking sites.
  • Make sure any photos or videos you use are ones you wouldn't mind parents, teachers, colleges seeing.
  • Don't post your e-mail or home address or your phone number.
  • Don't share your passwords
  • Don't "respond to any e-mails requesting personal information and to delete e-mails from unknown senders."
  • Don't reveal your name or gender in your screennames or email address. (Netsmartz, 2010)
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