12-28-2014, 05:49 PM
Internet Safety Reminders
As we prepare to welcome in the New Year of 2015, I’d like to remind everyone of the importance of protecting your personal information
on-line to ensure both you (and your children) remain safe.
The MOST Important thing to remember is that EVERYTHING you post online, every comment, every like, every picture, every text;
EVERYTHING sent over a data network is ultimately recorded and stored indefinitely.
There are many applications that promise things magically go away -- but that is NOT how the internet works.
If you do not want something to be public -- then do NOT share it through ANY data network.
A simple example of this follows:
Every photo you have posted publicly on Facebook, posted on a thread in the Talk Budgies Forums or have stored in a public album in your PhotoBucket account is collected by Google (along with other web-browsers) and with the correct “search” is available for anyone to see.
I must admit, it particularly concerns me when parents post and/or store pictures of their children in publicly accessible on-line accounts.
I’ve seen perfectly innocent pictures of children in bathing suits, partially dressed, getting ready for bed, etc.
Nothing wrong with those pictures in and of themselves, but when stored in a publicly accessible album or shared through Facebook, a public forum or other networking site, just imagine how easy it is for a predator to also see those pictures.
If other personal information has also been posted, there is, of course, increased danger.
According to the FBI, there are an estimated 50,000 predators online at any given moment, all looking for potential victims.
Remember that “online” is much more than spending time on the computer.
Now smart phones and even video games are completely connected to the outside world.
Parents must understand that if the ability exists for communication with children, predators are there.
Following is a short list of a FEW things you can do to help protect yourselves and your families on-line:
Sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card numbers should never be posted online.
These should only be submitted through secure forms on company websites you trust.
For example, a government website or your bank's website are usually safe.
Third party website that are well-known, secure, and trusted like eBay, Paypal, Amazon, etc. are also safe.
As with other information, this information should not be made public and should only be entered into secure forms.
You know a website is secure if its URL begins with https instead of just http.
Do not share or post pictures that may exploited by others.
Do not agree to meet an individual you meet on-line unless it is in a public place.
Be sure to inform a trusted family member or friend of your intention and when to expect your return.
Sometimes an on-line persona is simply a “disguise” and you could find yourself in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.
Choose and use passwords wisely – Make certain that your password contains at least 8 characters and includes a variety of numbers, letters, and/or symbols.
Download with care– Download images, applications, and screen savers from trusted sources only.
Ensure you know the website you are visiting is one you can trust.
Be sure to use and update your anti-virus software– This is your best defense against viruses!
Do not immediately open e-mail attachments – If you receive an e-mail attachment that you were not expecting (even if it is from someone you know), do not open it—there may be a virus contained within it.
For safety, send e-mail back to the sender asking them to explain what the attachment contains.
If it is a virus, they may not even know the e-mail was sent.
This extra step can really help to protect your system!
Avoid forwarding chain letters, jokes, and other types of SPAM – These letters often contain false information that misleads people.
In addition, they send the personal data of yourself and your friends to strangers through malware embedded in the chain-email.
By forwarding emails to your friends, you may be creating a list of emails for spammer to use.
Make regular back-ups of your files – In the case of a virus or computer malfunction, regular back-ups help to get your system back in order quickly.
Wishing each and every member of the Talk Budgie Forum a very
HAPPY NEW YEAR!