Safety

Written by Jo Langford, M.A.

Online safety is just as important as personal safety in the real world. Read below to learn some important tips and tools for staying safe while online. You can also visit BLOOM’s Safety & Privacy page for specific safety setting instructions for some of today’s most popular social apps and games.




Social Media
  • Make your accounts private.
  • Use a strong password that uses capitals, a longer password, and special characters. Avoid using the same passwords throughout multiple accounts and set up your security questions.
  • Be selective with friend requests. If you don’t know the person, don’t accept their request. It could be a fake account.
  • Do not make physical contact with anyone you have met online without the permission of your caregiver(s) and someone to accompany you.
  • NEVER meet anyone you only know online, alone.
  • Do not take, post, send, or keep nude pictures of ANYONE under the age of 18 even (and especially) yourself.
  • Notify your caregiver(s) and the social media platform immediately if you encounter anything, or are contacted by anyone, who makes you feel uncomfortable.
Screen Time
  • Use a strong password that uses capitals, a longer password, and special characters. Avoid using the same passwords throughout multiple accounts and set up your security questions.
  • Protect your personal information online: including your full name, address, passwords, phone number, social security number, and credit card numbers (and anyone else’s).
  • Avoid areas of the web that focus on negative, inappropriate, or unsafe sexual depictions or sites that promote hate speech, bigotry, and other forms of prejudice.
  • If you are tricked into disclosing personal information by a targeted scam, change your login, password, and PINs (personal identification numbers) on the real site, then notify your banks and/or the business where the fraud occurred. Ask to speak to their fraud department.
  • Protect your computer by installing antivirus software to safeguard against malware. Also ensure that your browser, operating system, and software are kept up to date.
  • Avoid clicking on any unexpected link.
Gaming
  • Make your accounts private.
  • Use a strong password that uses capitals, a longer password, and special characters. Avoid using the same passwords throughout multiple accounts and set up your security questions.
  • Stay cautious when someone attempts to turn an online conversation sexual — especially if they ignore attempts to change the subject.
  • Report cyberbullying to administrators, caregivers, and/or police.
  • Do not download anything without permission, paying for it yourself, and making certain that it is from a reliable source.