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Promoting Innovative, Positive and Safe Internet Use

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Safe Social Networking

Social network sites like Facebook, Bebo and MySpace allow users aged 13 and above to join. However, many children younger than 13, also have accounts, by giving out false birth dates. An account with a social network site gives you a profile page, and interactive spaces where a community of friends and family can leave messages, photos and videos. In many ways, your page is like a 'notice board' about you. There are many benefits to social networking, however, these sites are sometimes misused too.

The following are some of the key rules to using Social Networking Sites wisely:

1) Watch what you say, and what personal information you share online, about yourself, and your network of friends and family.

2) Never share passwords, not even with best friends.

3) Always log off after using the Social Networking Sites, on your phone, or on a computer, XBox/ PS3

4) Think before you upload pictures onto a website, or upload pictures of your friends and family - always get their permission.

5) There are laws online, and the online world is a 'real world', so be responsible in your online actions, and treat others as you want them to treat you.

6) Always report inappropriate contact to the service provider using their Report Abuse links, and if anything worries you, talk to a trusted adult.

Safety tips from social networking and other websites

Resources from Cybersmart Australia

Childnet’s Guide to Safe Social Networking and Safe Chat: http://www.childnet.com/downloads/blog_safety.pdf and http://www.chatdanger.com

Facebook Guides/ Useful Web Links

A Parent's Guide to Facebook by Anne Collier and Larry Magid

Facebook Security Guide: Own Your Own Space

The UK Safer Internet Centre has a great and useful checklist for Facebook:

Facebook safety page: http://www.facebook.com/safety 
Facebook privacy page: http://www.facebook.com/fbprivacy 
Facebook security page: https://www.facebook.com/security

How to untag yourself- a video from Facebook:

A screencast guide for Parents on Facebook Privacy Settings - note the Facebook interface has changed since this screencast- though it may still be useful.

MySpace Safety Tips http://www.myspace.com/help?p=/safetysite/home

Piczo Safety Tips: http://pic3.piczo.com/public/piczo2/safety/safety.jsp

Windows Live Messenger Security and Privacy

Irish website WATCH YOUR SPACE: http://www.watchyourspace.ie/Default.aspx

Face Up To It: http://www.faceup2it.org/home.html

Connect Safely http://www.connectsafely.org

Respect Yourself http://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/respect_home

That's not Cool: http://www.thatsnotcool.com

Teach Today http://www.teachtoday.eu

How to bully proof yourself on Facebook http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?post=180189707130 and http://mashable.com/2011/03/10/facebook-anti-bullying/

To learn about organisations that you can report abuse too, click here.


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