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The Internet is a great place to learn, enjoy games and hang out with friends. However, it can also be deceptively dangerous place if you fall into the trap of thinking it cant happen to me.
Online predators are real, and anyone - you, your friends, your brothers or sisters, even your parents - can be victimized by an online predator. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by following these basic safety tips:
Cyber bullying is categorized as:
- Nasty and/or threatening instant messaging or texting session
- Repeated messages sent to a cell phone or social media account
- A website set up to mock others
- Pretending to be someone else while posting online (i.e. “hacking”)
- Forwarding private messages, pictures and/or videos to others
- Videotaping violent physical altercations and posting them online to sites such as Youtube, Vine, Instagram etc.
- Creating anonymous social media profiles, blogs or websites to make fun of a specific group of people or to facilitate and continue hurtful gossip. (These accounts are often referred to as “slam,” “burn,” “air it out,” or “blast” accounts.)
POSTING PERSONAL INFORMATION
- Never give out identifying information online (e.g. name, photo, age, address, school name, financial information, telephone number, etc.) unless you have parental permission.
- Do not use a screen name that can be traced back to you (e.g. initials, address, age, etc.) or that identifies your gender.
- Tell your parents if someone sends you nude images (pornography). It’s a crime and should be investigated.
- Tell your parents or teachers if you are concerned about one of your friends arranging such a meeting your friend’s safety could be at risk.
SEXUAL PREDATORS ARE ONLINE
- Someone claiming online to be a 12 year-old girl may be a 40 year-old man. Meeting them face-to face may be dangerous - even if you’re accompanied by friends or family or in a public space.
- Never respond to instant messages or emails that are suggestive, obscene, threatening, or make you feel uncomfortable. Tell your parents if you encounter such messages.
SOCIAL MEDIA/MOBILE APPS
- You must be at least 13 years old to legally have an account on most major social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Kik, Snapchat, etc.)
- You may not post violent, nude, partially nude, discriminatory, unlawful, infringing, hateful, pornographic or sexually suggestive photos or other content via any social media account.
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