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7 ways to avoid TMI

July 23rd, 2013 No comments

Technology can make everything in our lives easier—including sharing too much information (TMI). Just because you can take a picture of your new credit card and post it on Instagram doesn’t mean that you should. In fact, you shouldn’t.

Sharing too much information can lead to identity theft. It can also damage your online reputation, which could prevent you from getting into college, getting a job, or even getting health insurance.

Here are ways to avoid sharing TMI:

  1. Never share your address, phone number, Social Security number, or other personal information through online interactions. 
  2. Use and manage your privacy settings. Limit who can see details of your online profiles.
  3. Never shop, bank, or enter passwords or credit card numbers over public Wi-Fi.
  4. Ask questions. Sometimes we do need to share personal information, but before doing so, ask why the information is necessary and beware of imposters.
  5. Use sites that you can trust. Learn what to look for.
  6. Stop and think before you post an image, blog, tweet, or comment. What does it say about you and how you want to be viewed online?
  7. Take charge of your online reputation: Discover, evaluate, protect, cultivate, and restore as needed.

For more tips on avoiding TMI, check out the hashtag #IsThisTMI on our Twitter channel.

 

Think twice before you text that photo

June 18th, 2013 No comments

Most of us already know this, but it’s worth repeating: When you email or text photos to another person, that person can save the pictures on his or her phone or hard drive forever.

New apps like Snapchat claim that there are ways to send photos so that they will automatically “disappear,” but people have found technical and nontechnical ways to get around this. For example, someone could simply use a camera phone to take a picture of a photo that is displayed on another phone screen.

Confused? You’re not the only one. Our friends at ConnectSafely have created a parents’ guide to Snapchat that provides tips and explanations for those who want to help protect their family.

Download the Parents’ Guide to Snapchat (PDF, 270 KB)

Want more information about how to help your family stay safe online? See Protecting young people.