Since my debut novel, Who R U Really?, features an Internet predator, I'm often asked to speak to groups of all ages about online safety. Here are a few tips I share with everyone:
NAVIGATE SOCIAL MEDIA SECURELY
• Manage your settings both on your devices and social media platforms to control who sees your profile, photos, comments, and more.
• Be selective and only accept friend requests from people you know in real life. Then monitor your list of friends to regularly reassess who has access to your information.
PROTECT SENSITIVE INFORMATION
• Never share it via email or instant messaging.
• Beware of contests and “free” offers that require your personal information.
• Use caution when entering information on websites.
o SECURE = web address begins with “https” or has a closed padlock
o TRUSTED = the official website of the organization
AVOID FRAUD ON THE INTERNET
• Practice research strategies by considering the source, utilizing multiple websites, and relying on current information.
• Exercise shopping strategies by using a single, dedicated credit card and monitoring your statements regularly.
UTILIZE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
• AND check out my previous posts: Safer Internet Day Resources, Get CyberAware this October, Stop.Think.Connect., and 8 Ways to Use Gadgets Safely & Securely.
• Impress your friends by posting online about cybersafety.
• Encourage your local community center, library, or school to host a cybersecurity program.
• Discuss the importance of Internet safety with your family.
• Distribute Stop.Think.Connect. materials in your neighborhood and community.
• Report if you are the victim of online fraud to the Department of Justice at: