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How to stay safe on the internet

The internet is one of the greatest inventions of all time. It has totally changed how we do things including shopping, research, and connecting with people across the world. Unfortunately, there’s a very dark side to the internet.

The truth is of the billions of people who access the internet, not everyone has good intentions when doing so.

The internet is no longer the safe haven it was when it was first introduced. There are lots of ill-intentioned people and this means we have to stay alert.

You should think carefully before connecting with strangers or sharing personal information – including pictures, or videos on the internet. Even if you think it is private, nothing on the internet is completely private.

9 tips on how to stay safe online:

  • It’s a good rule of thumb not to share or put up anything that could embarrass you or ruin your reputation later. If you wouldn’t want your parent, guardian, or loved ones to see it, then don’t post it.
  • It is advisable not to share real-time location as this may put you at risk of people who may want to harm you
  • Don’t share private information with people you don’t know or trust
  • Trust your instincts if someone approaches you online and makes you feel uncomfortable or in danger. Stop communication with them immediately and inform a trusted adult or authorities if you suspect you may be in danger.
  • It’s best not to meet in person someone you’ve only met online, even if you’ve been communicating with them for a long time. They may not be whom they claim to be thus putting you at risk.
  • If you do decide to meet someone online, it’s best to research about them, meet them in a public place, be accompanied by someone, or inform your loved ones of your location and details of the person you are meeting.
  • Create a strong password and change it often – do not use the same password for all your online accounts., update your browsers, and get an antivirus for your devices.
  • Do not visit untrusted sites and always avoid clicking shared links as they may lead you to infected sites. Educated yourself on how to identify fake sites, links, and emails.
  • Bullying someone online through email, social media, text messaging, or any other website or app is called cyberbullying. And is still a form of bullying. It’s often better to block, delete, or try to ignore bullying messages than to respond to them. If that doesn’t work, getting help from a parent, friend, school counselor or another trusted adult might be a good idea. That’s especially true if cyberbullying contains threats.

Remember to always keep your personal information private. Check your privacy settings to make sure that only your friends can see what you post and never, ever share your passwords with anyone else. The internet could be a wonderful place to explore just remember to stay safe while doing it.

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LoveMatters Africa

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