7 Safety Tips to Share with Them

Written by National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) / Netsmartz

The following is a checklist to share with your young person that can help them take steps to keep themselves safe online.

#1 – Check your comments and images. Have you posted anything inappropriate or illegal, like threats, nudity, alcohol, weapons, or drugs?

#2 – Talk to your friends about what’s OK to post. Agree that you won’t post embarrassing or hurtful comments or images of each other. Be clear that you’ll delete — or if needed, report — any posts that are inappropriate, illegal, threatening, or could get you in trouble.

#3 – Review your account settings. Always ask yourself — what is on my profile and who can see it?

#4 – Know your friends, contacts, and followers. These are the people who can see, share, and comment on what you post so you want to be sure you can trust them. Block and report anyone who makes harassing, threatening, or inappropriate comments.

#5 – Keep an eye on 3rd party and connected apps. Some of these will allow you to log into one app using account information from another. Be careful, as this may allow the company access to your profile information.

#6 – Don’t forget mobile. When you use mobile devices like smartphones and tablets to post something or check in, you could also be sharing your location. Check your settings to make sure you’re only sharing what you want to.

#7 – Report. You have the right to be safe online. If anyone cyberbullies you, make a report to the website or app. If anyone shares or asks you to share sexual messages or images, make a report to CyberTipline.org.