1.Don’t give out personal information such as your full name, the names of anyone in your family, or the home address, school name or phone number of anyone you know. Always use nicknames online instead of your real name when creating a username. This includes signing up for things on websites – check with a parent or guardian before entering your personal info on a website to create an account or sign up for something. If you have trouble coming up with usernames, try out this random username generating tool from Last Pass.
2. Never send pictures to strangers. Sending photos to strangers can be very dangerous; you could be giving away a lot more information than you intend to. From an identifiable building or object in a photo that could give away your location to the metadata attached to a digital image – you never know what someone’s intentions are. The less of your information they have, the better.
3. Keep passwords private and use strong passwords. If you have trouble coming up with strong passwords, try out this random password generator by Privacy Canada.
4.Don’t download anything without a parent or guardian’s permission; it might contain a virus that could harm your computer.
5. Tell an adult if you receive a mean or strange message. Report and block the person who sent the message.
6.Keep your devices and apps updated. It is important to use the latest operating systems on your devices and apps, especially if they contain personal information like payment methods or health info. Developers are constantly working to improve products, fix bugs or vulnerabilities in software and improve safety systems to keep you protected.
7.Beware of free Wi-Fi and free downloads. Free public Wi-Fi is not always safe; avoid accessing your bank accounts or completing purchases via free Wi-Fi; if you need to do this, use VPN software to get protection for the data you are sending over the unsecured network. When downloading a service or software, if you decide to go for a free solution, do your research, research the name of the service or software, and ensure it has a reliable reputation.
8. If something is too good to be true- it probably is. From Instagram product ads to phishing e-mails from hackers posing as companies or a prince overseas that wants to hide a million dollars in your bank account, scams are everywhere online. Research products before you buy them to ensure they are reputable. If you get a weird e-mail, never download any attachments or click any links. If you are unsure and think it could be genuine, ask an adult their opinion before clicking. Remember that legitimate companies would never randomly e-mail you asking for personal information.