Online safety tips
Parents and policy makers can help young adults pay attention to their online reputation and take steps to ensure a positive persona – personally and professionally.
The Digital Civility Challenge
Microsoft encourages everyone to take the challenge to help make the internet a safer place. Our fifth Digital Civility Index showed digital interactions and responses to online risks are improving around the world.
Create your own council
Find out more about Microsoft's Council for Digital Good – how participating teens helped grow positive online interactions and offered insights into technology use – and how you can build a youth council for your business.
Anything you post can become part of your online reputation and your online brand for the rest of your digital life. Remember the internet is permanent, vast, and always listening. Any one of your selfies could show up at your first job interview.
Could this hurt me or others?
It is difficult to know how others will interpret or react to your post. What you post might affect others directly or indirectly.
Would I share this with my parents or family?
You never know who reads what you post. Imagine how your parents or family would react if they read your post.
Could this limit opportunities for my future?
It is common for schools, volunteer programs, and hiring managers to review your digital footprint. Be thoughtful about what you post online.
Estimated time lost while repairing damage to online personal reputations in 2013
Estimated amount lost worldwide due to damaged professional reputations
Less than 20%
Percentage of respondents who have taken active steps to edit or remove online information that might impact their reputations
Percentage of those surveyed who take time to protect their reputations online
Estimated worldwide financial losses while repairing online damage to personal reputations in 2013
What potential online risks concern you the most?
- 28% Financial loss
- 17% Finding spyware, adware, or other tracking software on my devices
- 12% Loss of personal privacy
- 10% Online information damaging relationships with family/friends
- 8% Loss of job due to tarnished online reputation
- 9% Poor performance of computer
- 6% Being bullied or harassed online
- 6% Data loss
- 5% I do not have concerns about going online
What is the greatest benefit the internet has brought to your life?
- 40% Learning
- 16% Socializing
- 14% Exploring
- 14% Entertainment
- 7% Conducting business
- 9% Other
Social media cliche
Answer multiple choice questions about your social media habits to learn which cliché you are.Take the quiz
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, targeted for scams, or worse.
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, birthdate, or 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.