Thursday, May 2, 2013

Internet Rules

I have been blessed with a wisely cautious set of parents, and they equip me with the knowledge of Internet dangers.

The Internet is a scary place.  There are weird sites, stalking people, lying people, cheating people, and overall just scary people that use the Internet.  I've been sheltered from those incidents that happen to get on the news, but then reality kicks in.  Life is a scary thing, and the Internet is part of what makes life scary.

I begged my dad for a blog (he granted it to me) and then recently, I asked him for an Instagram.  Okay, so most people don't have to ask their parents to get social networking accounts.  I do. 

He just told me I could get one if I followed his Internet rules.  That might sound weird to you, like my dad's being overcautious, but really, you can never be too wary about the Internet.  Really.

So I'm posting some of the Internet rules he told me here. 

1.  Assume EVERYONE can see your posts/profile/etc. 

Instagram accounts you can make private, but according to my dad, anyone can see them, regardless if you've made your account private or not.  Like when I'm posting this blog.  I don't give away my address, my name, my age, any of my personal information.  Sure, you've got a couple of stuff (like the fact that I like to cook/bake), but what good does that do you? 

Like I said, there are some pretty scary people out there.  And they can hack, and sometimes they don't even need to hack.

2.  Everything you post on the Internet stays FOREVER.

It doesn't matter if you delete it, my dad says it stays in the digital swing of things ultimately.  Who knows who's seen your post before you actually delete it? 

3.  Be careful what you post.

This might sound crazy to you, but employers look up your social networking posts to see if they like your personality and your posts.  You could lose your job because of a post; you could be suspended because of a post; you could be cyberbullied because of a post.  Be careful what you post, and always think through your actions before you actually post something.

4.  Don't trust people through the Internet: Know Them Personally.

Over a computer screen, you can lie easily.  For example, go on the My Favorites page.  I put true things about myself and untrue things about myself (and I even labeled them!).  Sometimes people put down untrue things about themselves...without stating that they're untrue.  So a fifty-year-old man can masquerade as a sixteen-year-old girl. 

That's why only Friend people that you actually know.  Because you could be Friends with a robber in prison, for all you know.

The Internet is part convenient, part harmful.  For every good thing (convenience, fast speed) about the Internet, there's also a bad thing.

Privacy is the primary issue.

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