How to stay safe online

DON’T put yourself at unnecessary risk online. Here are some basic tips on how to stay safe online. 

Photo: Jakub Krechowicz

Gretchen Croome from Cybersmart, Australia’s national cybersafety and cybersecurity education program, understands the allure of socialising online.

“It can be easier to talk to strangers online than it is offline,” Ms Croome says.

But she says students sometimes forget who they are communicating with online, and who might see the information they post.

Cybersmart encourages people not to put key personal information on their profiles. This includes their phone number, home or school addresses, information about workplaces or clubs.

Helpful actions can include:

  • Refraining from posting photos of yourself or others that they would not want strangers to see, or that may have a negative impact on how others view them.
  • Ensuring you understand the privacy features—in particular how to set your profile to private and limit access to your information.
  • Reminding yourself that not everyone is who they claim to be. Although you may enjoy having many online friends, adding people that they don’t know on ‘friends lists’ allows those people to learn all about them.
  • Keep your online friends online. If you do want to meet someone that you haven’t met so far in person, ask a friend or another trusted adult to go with you and always meet in a public place, preferably during the day.
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