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Internet dangers

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There is no denying that social media has revolutionised the way people communicate, share information and do business with one another. From keeping in touch with distant relatives to attracting a global audience for your company, there is no limit to what is possible via social networking today. And while welcoming this technological phenomenon, you also need to be aware of internet dangers this great power can bring. The fact that social media knows no bounds can also be negative; which is something to bear in mind when using very public platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Negative effects

As use of social media increases, so too do the stories of ‘trolling’, ‘cyber bullying’ and even employers basing their hiring and firing decisions on what they see on the internet. There have been many incidences where people have been sacked from their jobs for something written on a social networking site that may have been totally innocent or unrelated to their professional capabilities.

Big brother is watching

When using social media, it’s better to think of yourself as sitting in a crowded restaurant, where although you may only be addressing the person at your table, dozens of others in the room could actually be listening in. Even those not in your ‘friends’ lists could be party to your conversations via wall posts, general tweets, responses to tweets etc, if you don’t have your accounts set up properly. So if you don’t want the wider world to hear what you are saying, then best not to say it. Only post things you would be happy to say out in public.

Once it’s out there…

Even if you have your privacy settings activated in the most robust way possible, nothing on the internet is really and truly secure. Every website has its own administrator who can see and watch everything on their network, and once something is created – such as a Facebook account or a photograph post, it is very difficult to delete it completely from the internet.

Every time you visit a website your IP address is logged and kept on file.

Children

internet dangersInternet dangers are even more serious where your children are concerned. The best thing you can do is to fully inform yourself about all the possible risks and make sure you monitor what they are doing, who they are talking to and what sites they are accessing. Learn how to use the built in firewalls on your router to block out specific websites rather than relying on the standard Parental Controls functions.These firewalls won’t keep your children from social networking sites though, or protect them from cyber bullying, so it’s important to keep a dialogue going with your teenager about what they are doing online and to set out what you think is acceptable and what isn’t.

Check what they’re looking at

You can also save and review internet history listings in your browsers to see what they have been looking at.The advent of smartphones means it’s even more important to discuss the dangers with your child as it’s no longer just a case of keeping the family computer in the living room and watching over them while they use it. Children now have access to all the information in the world from the palm of their hands.

Work

If you have several devices at your disposal such as at home and at work – then make sure you carry out private functions such as internet banking and social networking from your home server. All businesses monitor their own networks and can keep tabs on what you are doing during work hours. Remember, corporate email accounts are the company’s property and should only be used for company business. They can be seized or reviewed at any time, without warning to the employee.

 

 

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