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Online Safety 101: What NOT to Post

 

From Facebook, to MySpace, to Twitter, and more, there are so many ways to get connected and have fun. And let’s face it: who doesn’t want to post pictures, update statuses, and chat with your chicas in seconds? It’s great!


But you gotta be aware that some of the info you're putting out there could get into...eek! The wrong hands. Here's the scoop on what NOT to post.

 
Don't get TOO personal
 

Let’s say you got a new screen name or, better yet, a new cell phone. Hitting up all your peeps through texting is a lot of work for a busy girl. So you decide to post your new number on Facebook for everyone to see. Ummm...major DIS-like for this one since it's super dangerous.


You should never post info that could let people track ya down for the wrong reasons. So never ever, put up stuff that could put you at risk. This means no: e-mails, screen names, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

 
Don't make new friends...with cyber strangers
 

When you’ve got 3,658 friends on your page, it can feel really good. Everybody loves to be popular, right? But if someone requests you, saying, “Oh, I’m your friend Bob's soccer teammate,” and you have no idea who he is, changes are you should just hit IGNORE.


Follow your instincts and don’t accept friend requests from anybody unless your absolutely, positively sure you’ve met him/her before. And if some creepo starts sending you personal messages or harassing you? Block him or report!

 
Don't play paparazzi
 

Yeah, you probably heart taking photos with your pals and making long-lasting memories. That's cool. But some pics should just be kept private—in your scrapbook or just between you and your BFFs. Say you and your chicas decided to dress up totally silly or something. Would you really want other people to have access to those photos? Probs not.

 

When a photo is posted up online, it’s no longer yours. Anyone can see it and it only takes three simple clicks to save and use it for different reasons. In other words, don’t upload photos that don’t represent who you really are. Save it for yourself and share pics that you wont regret showing.

 
Don't think it's OK to insult people since you're doing it online
 

Just because you aren’t directly interacting with other people online, doesn’t mean that you can say whatever you want. FYI: most sites now have a “report” link or a system that will allow users to alert admins if something’s amiss. If you make a mean joke or insult others online, don’t expect people to take it anonymously.

 
Manners matter—even in cyberspace. Communicate online as you would in person. There’s no need to be mean. Be respectful of others and others will respect you.

BY JEAN LEE ON 11/10/2009 11:27:00 AM

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