The Internet is a part of our everyday lives, whether we’re socializing with friends, applying to a school or looking for a new job. Now more than ever, it’s important to pay attention to what’s online about you and take steps to ensure a positive persona— both personally and professionally.
Check out the resources on this page to see what you can do for yourself and others to help stay safe online.
Anything you post can become part of your online reputation and your online brand for the rest of your digital life. So before you post, ask yourself:
Remember the Internet is permanent, vast and always listening. Any one of your selfies could show up at your first job interview.
Relationships can be complicated in real life. And they can also be complicated online. You can fight with your sister over messenger, you can create a community on Tumblr, and you can find your best friend over common boards on Pinterest. Here are some tips for managing your relationships online:
Suppose you got a new car. Would you post a photo of you standing in front of your new car – with the license plate showing in the background? Or post a photo of your new driver’s license, student ID or your first credit card? Be mindful of the information that is shared on the photos, videos and status updates you post online. You could be helping someone hack your privacy and identity. Here are some tips to keep your info safe:
Did you know that young people make up almost a third of US identity theft victims? It’s because they tend to have good credit, making them an attractive target, and they often fail to fully protect their personal details. Phishing scams—where a fraudster poses as a legitimate company to get your secret information—have become sophisticated: they may send emails asking for your username and password or direct you to a website to verify your password, all to take control of your financial identity. Here are some tips to help you protect your pocket book and credit score:
of estimated time that people around the world lost in 2013 repairing online damage to their personal reputations
of estimated worldwide financial losses in 2013 to repair online damage to personal reputations
estimated lost worldwide due to damage to professional reputation
less than 20%
of respondents take active steps to edit or remove online information that might impact their reputations
of those surveyed who take the time to take the latest info for protecting their reputations online
Using location services? Limit who knows your whereabouts, pay attention to where/when you check in, and link to social media with care.
Be mindful about what you post online about your kids-of any age. You might be putting them at risk by revealing their current location, age, school, etc.
Don't post anything you'd only say to a close friend. Whether you're happy, sad, angry, or have money worries, confiding broadly could increase your online risks of being bullied or targeted for scams.
Be selective about where and when you use hashtags to avoid oversharing your location.
Keep sensitive details to yourself that could be used to defraud, impersonate, or find your home address, phone and account numbers, birth date, photos without your knowing it.
Before you post any pictures, videos, or comments online, ask yourself: Could this tarnish my reputation? (Think before you post, it will be there a long, long time.)
Do you agree with the results?
Share and see what your friends say.
"People who take daily or almost daily selfies, usually with their head positioned at the exact same angle."
"Parents who only post pictures of their kids and post frequently. Often over sharing information about bodily functions."
"People who always seem to have "more" of whatever you post – whether adventure, material items, drama…."
"That one person you can always rely on to see and “Like” whatever you post."
"People who post somber comments about their emotional state, fishing for someone to reach out and ask what happened."
Those who treat social media like a podium to release their political rants, religious views or personal philosophies.
"People who put a million hashtag words on their posts and photos."
"The people who befriend others just to raise their number of friends."
"People who never miss an opportunity to "check in" with a location tag. The people who only post pictures of their fabulous trips, showing of their national geographic style photography skills."
The people obsessed with posting memes or who only re-post images, stores or videos created by other people.
"The people who post every second of their day, like their crammed bus ride or walking behind a crazy person."
"People who are new to social media, and post all the wrong types of things in all the wrong places."
"Users who explore keep up on your posts without liking, commenting or following you or who bombard you with a hundred likes and comments all at once."