- Educate your children. Be sure to teach your children about suspicious online activity, phishing scams, and the importance of keeping private information private. Personal information such as their date of birth, social security number, and address should be kept offline. Explaining not just what not to do, but also why can be beneficial as well.
- Manage your privacy settings. Be sure to manually check your privacy settings; many posts on certain platforms are viewable by anyone by default. Review your privacy settings to restrict what the public can see, as well as what information is gathered and shared by the platform.
- Think about what you post. Even private posts, photos, or emails can wind up being shared with unintended recipients. Once out of your control, deleting a specific item from the internet entirely can become nearly impossible.
- Avoid in-person meetings. It is never advisable to meet someone in person who you have only interacted with online. There are numerous cases where someone falls victim to 'catfishing' (someone who creates a fake online account posing as a non-existent person). If you really must meet with someone you met online, do not go alone. Meet in a public place and inform friends or family of your plans and arrange a 'check-in' time to call or text once you're done.
- Keep your passwords secure and private. Never share your passwords with anyone. Most people tend to use the same password for multiple accounts and websites; allowing someone to know one password for one site may inadvertently grant them access to more than you intended.