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Seven Cyber Sins: Online Mistakes You Can Avoid

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Seven Cyber Sins: Online Mistakes You Can Avoid

You think your family is protected when they go online. After all, you've installed virus protection software, a firewall, and spyware detectors on your home computer. You keep up with the latest operating system and browser updates. And you've set up Internet controls to filter the information family members (and others) can see. But is it enough?

Today's kids and teens spend lots of time texting with friends, communicating online through popular social media sites, checking e-mail, and chatting on blogs and in chat rooms. They know where to go online for music, movies, and TV shows. "Free stuff" to download beckons at the click of a button. But do they really understand the risks and how to be safe in cyberspace?

Take this opportunity to share with your family these tips on how to avoid seven "cyber sins" commonly committed by kids and teens.

1. What's so wrong with cyber-bullying? Nobody takes it seriously...

Bullying is no longer confined to the school hallway or playground. Technology now allows bullies to harass their victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Instant messaging, social network sites, e-mail, and chat rooms can be used to humiliate and torment. And they can often times do so anonymously.

2. Exchanging pictures and personal information with people you have met online

Not everyone you meet online is who they appear to be. Sharing seemingly innocent personal information or pictures online can expose your family to cyber-bullying and the more serious dangers posed by cyber-predators. Avoid this mistake: Don't communicate with strangers online, even those who say they're your age or a friend of your friend—they may not be who they claim to be. You may know not to give out your name or address, or a photo of yourself, but you still may be sharing details about yourself that a cyber-predator could piece together to identify and find you.

Read the full Seven Cyber Sins: Online Mistakes you can Avoid IT Paper