As valuable as the internet can be in our lives, it can also be a dangerous place. You’ll have to look carefully at how well you’re going to handle your online activities if you want to do things in this vast landscape.
The good news is that you don’t have to struggle with all the commonplace threats that might come about in the online world if you look at what you can do. This guide will help you identify many opportunities for handling your activities when online.
Cyber bullying appears in many forms:
Flaming occurs when people get into online fights with lots of dirty language. This includes angry messages that keep showing up and often get worse after a while.
Harassment is where people send insulting and mean messages to others. This includes cases where someone gets several angry or hostile messages.
Denigration occurs when people send gossip or false rumors about someone online. The action is to damage a person’s reputation or relationship with others.
Impersenation entails someone preteneding to be another entity. The impersonator will try to sabotage the target’s reputation or friendships.
Secrets or other sensitive bits of information can be outed by some people. The outing occurs to try and embarrass someone. Sometimes outing entails photos, videos, or other regularly private things being aired out to the public.
People can try and talk others into revealing embarrassing or sensitive details online. This entails trickery, an act that can be difficult to handle in many situations.
People may exclude others from groups or activities. This action entails people being blocked from things or unable to have as much fun as others. Exclusion often entails making people feel as though they are no longer wanted in certain places.
Cyberstalking occurs when a person repeatedly harasses someone. This may come from repeated threats that can become elevated and potentially dangerous.
What Are the Effects of Cyberbullying?
The effects of cyberbullying can be substantial and include:
- Feeling a lack of confidence
- Being stressed
- Not performing well in school
- Not wanting to come to school
- Suicidal thoughts
Other Points About Cyberbullying
There are many added concerns surrounding cyberbullying to note:
Practically anyone can be cyberbullied. This is not exclusive to kids. A bully will pick on anyone so long as the bully is motivated and has an audience or partners to work with.
Cyberbullying can occur through any means of online communication. It can happen not only through texts or emails, but also through blogs and even through video games.
Cyberbullying often starts with minor jokes. But after a while, it can evolve into hostile behavior.
Many online conflicts will start in the real world and then spread online. It is through online communication that it can become easier for bullies to operate.
Legal Considerations Surrounding Cyberbullying
- Defamation is a crime entailing publishing false statements to harm one’s reputation.
- Invasion of privacy or the public disclosure of a private point can be illegal and threatening in many situations.
- The invasion of privacy or a false light accusation would involve information being disclosed to where a person is exposed to an unfair fight.
- Intentionally imposing emotional distress is also illegal. This can include cruel and hostile actions that might be seen as improper.
- Hate crimes
- Bias crimes
- Forcing or coercing people to do things they don’t want to do
- Harassing people in various ways
- Sexual exploitation, particularly for people under 18
- Taking photos of people in places that are supposed to be private; these include bathrooms and locker rooms
As difficult as it is to bear with cyberbullying, there are many things that can be done to prevent thing from being a threat:
Tell a person about the cyberbullying. Do not try to hide details about it from others, as that might make the situation worse.
Never instigate the cyberbullying, or else it will cause the bully to take things further.
Block any bullies you know of on social media and chat rooms. This can help you to avoid their hassles.
Make sure you log out when you’re done using your computer, especially if you are on a public computer.
Avoid trying to be a cyberbully yourself. Being a bully only makes things bad for everyone.
You should also talk with your kids about cyberbullying if you are a parent. Explain about what they are doing while online, and make sure you discuss what they are doing if possible.
You’ll need to watch for what you’re doing when online so you can stay safe. There are many things you can do when protecting yourself. To stat, we need to look at how you can handle your passwords.There are many things that you can do to keep your passwords safe:
- Create a password setup system that will ensure your passwords will not be difficult to predict. This includes using various complicated passwords that would be difficult to predict.
- Make sure you use multiple passwords for your accounts. Don’t use the same one more than twice.
- Make sure the characters are relatively random, but come up with meanings for them. This is to help you remember these details.
- Look at how long your passwords are. It is harder for people to guess passwords when they are longer.
You can also use the SUPR test to see how well a password looks. The SUPR test entails producing a password with the following points in mind:
The password must be complex, distinct, sensible and easy to remember, and something that can be changed on occasion. Using these standards helps you produce passwords that are hard for people to predict.
Handling Your Credit Report
Your identity can also be stolen through your credit report. The report covers the many transactions that you have gone through in recent time.You’ll need to review your credit report on occasion to confirm that your data is safe and that no one is trying to steal your information. A person who breaks into your credit report could use the data there to steal your money.You can contact the credit reporting agencies for details on your credit report. You can get one free report every year. You can also place a fraud alert on your report if you notice any concerns.Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion operate the credit reporting functions throughout much of the world. Check their websites to see what number you should call when getting your credit report under control.
Managing An Identity Theft Report
A fraud alert can be applied on any of your credit reports to ensure that any transactions using your information are difficult to apply. This is to help with keeping your credit accounts in check. An alert can last for 90 days.You can file an identity theft report if you have concerns over your identity being stolen. You can use this report to do many things:
- You can stop debt companies from trying to collect money from you from fraudulent transactions.
- Remove any false accounts from your credit report. You might have to ask a reporting group to help, although this should be free to do.
- You might need to extend the fraud alert if necessary.
- Review your report to see what the sources of theft might be. This may help you in getting to the root of the issue.
You’ll have to use a particular process for creating your identity theft report. These rules are applicable in the United States:
- Contact the Federal Trade Commission to submit your report. You can do this at ftc.gov/idtheft, or you can call 1-877-438-4338 for help.
- Print out a copy of your FTC affidavit. The report shows details on the report. You can get the affidavit through the FTC, although you might have to contact the group for help.
- Bring the affidavit to your local police station. Get the official police report number ready.
- You’re a copy of the theft report to the companies that you are filing for fraud.
In Australia, you would have to get a Commonwealth Victims’ Certificate. You can visit ag.gov.au/rightsandprotections/identitysecurity for details.
The Threat of Phishing
Phishing is a concern that needs to be noted. This is a scam that entails your personal information being collected and used for harmful intentions. This can include trying to make you sign up for something, only to have your identity stolen. You might come across email or text messages saying things like “please verify your data with us” or “click the link to confirm your identity.”Phishing often entails fake emails that include more than these messages. Such messages can include the following problematic concerns:
- An email might ask for your credit card information or specific identifying numbers.
- An email could look real like it was from an actual bank or other group. Check for a digital signature; a phishing message won’t have one.
- Your name and other personal bits of info won’t be included on a phishing email.
- Some false statements that ask you to act immediately may also appear.
How to Avoid a Phishing Attack
A phishing attack can be dangerous, but you can use these points to avoid one:
- Never fill out the information on a phishing email.
- Avoid using the links or other message features on a phishing email.
- Check your bank and card statements to ensure everything is accurate.
- Watch for the URL on any sites you reach. An https feature should appear at the start, suggesting that it is a secure HTTP link.
- Review the quality of the domain. A site like “paypalscamalert.com” is fake, but “paypal.com” is real.
You can report a phishing attack by sending an email to email@example.com worldwide or firstname.lastname@example.org in the United States.Be sure to send an email to the company or bank that an impersonator got in touch with. The email should let the entity know about the concerns you have. You can also file a phishing report if you were a victim of a phishing attack on ftc.gov/complaint.The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission offers support for those in Australia who have been impacted by scams. You can visit scamwatch.gov.au to get a complaint filed.
Plagiarism can come in many forms, including:
- Not putting a quote in quotation marks
- Giving out incorrect details on the source of a quote
- Claiming an existing bit of work as one’s own
- Changing words around something but not giving credit to the source
- Copying words without permission or credit
- Having most of your content come from one source regardless of whether or not you gave that source credit
- Not placing citations in the right places
Plagiarism is a dangerous activity that can result in serious consequences.
You could be expulsed from school or even sent to court for copyright infringement. You may also be fined a substantial amount of money.
What About Copyrighting?
Copyrighting is important to note, as using copyrighted work without permission or approval can be illegal. Such copyrighted bits of content include:
Books and other literary works
Musical productions and works
- Books and other literary works
- Dramatic content
- Choreographed content
- Motion pictures and other types of films
- Graphics, pictures, and other visual works
- Sound recordings
The Concept of Fair Use
Fair Use is a point that is often used when taking care of content. Fair Use works in that you can use certain bits of content without repercussion. But you only have so much content to work with.
The following things are free to use under Fair Use doctrine:
- Any work that is not original
- Anything in the public domain where you are; a public domain work includes anything where the copyright has expired or the author did not copyright one’s work, or the government owns the work
- Freeware, which is software that people can use without restrictions thanks to permissions from those who produced the program
- Facts that people regularly know or are aware of
- Ideas and concepts described in copyrighted content
Is Something Being Used For Educational Purposes?
You can look well to see if the content you’re handling is working with educational intentions in mind. Four points should be used when looking at whether something is being handled for educational purposes:
- The purpose of using the work should be noted. Copying parts of something is fine for fair use and only works temporarily.
- The nature of the content is critical to see. Paragraphs can be copied for brief descriptions, but not entire bits of content.
- The extent to how the material in question is being used must also be noted. A short bit of content is fine to review, as it does not reflect every single bit of content in a situation.
- The possible marketability of something should also be noted. There should be no reduction in sales due to fair use.
Handling Copyrighted Works Appropriately
Using a Works Cited Report
You must make sure that you use the copyrighted content in your work accordingly. A works cited report will identify the sources you’re gathering information from.You can use one of many works cited standards based on the paper:
The American Psychological Association uses a professional standard for scientific papers.
The Modern Language Association has a standard for humanities papers.
The University of Chicago requires a unique platform for reporting on historical research papers.
The American Medical Association’s rules are for medical papers and reports.
The Council of Science Editors focuses on a format for the biological sciences.You can visit https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/resources.html for the latest information on how to produce references. The Purdue University Online Writing Lab has the most detailed standards on how citations can work.Using Parenthetical CitationsParenthetical citations are to be used in the middle part of your report. A citation will go after a quote or a point that you paraphrase. You are stating at this point that you are using content from an outside source.The parenthetical citation will feature the name of the person, the page number something is from, and the year. The specifics will vary based on the file format. For instance, you might have something that says:(Joseph 35)(Joseph 2016)(Joseph 2016, p. 35)Refer to the Purdue Lab link for added details.ParaphrasingParaphrasing is putting existing bits of content into your own words. You will have to cite the content you are parphrasing.For instance, you can directly quote something:“As the reporter said, ‘This is a very intriguing event.’ (45)”Paraphrasing can entail the following:“The reporter remarked that the event was different from the norm. (45)”
Computer viruses are dangerous for how they can potentially harm your computer in many ways. These can steal your information and lock you out of certain programs.You will need to watch for how you use your computer and that you do so responsibly. This includes ensuring you don’t try to download anything questionable in nature.Media files that include audio or visual content are safe to open. These include MP3, WMA, JPG, GIF, MPEG, and TXT files.Some files like EXE, DOC, and DOCX files can be dangerous. These files often contain viruses hiding inside of them. You could trigger a virus by opening one of these files that has been infected.
Some of the most dangerous computer viruses are Trojan horses. Such a file will be disguised to look like something legitimate. But the Trojan horse will activate the virus when it opens on your computer. The Trojan horse is a virus that cannot be transmitted between other computers, but it can still be dangerous to any computer that is impacted.Emails can also be threatening in that emails can spread Trojan horses and other viruses. Emails can often come with files that can be dangerous if opened.
KEEPING YOUR COMPUTER SAFE
Using Antivirus Software
A good idea for keeping your computer safe is to use an antivirus software program. The software program can scan what is on your computer and confirm whatever it is you are downloading or using. You can use an antivirus program to ensure that you’re not load anything that might potentially be dangerous or threatening to your computer.You can find antivirus programs from McAfee, Norton, Network Associates, Panda Software, Trend Micro, Symantec, and Aladdin Knowledge Systems among other companies. You can check their websites to see what they have to offer.An antivirus program can be useful, but you should always use your better judgment when downloading files. Be sure you watch carefully for what you are getting out of your work in any situation.
Five Helpful Tips
There are a few tips that can work well if you’re going to keep yourself protected from computer viruses:
- Always update your software programs. This is especially the case for any antivirus programs you have. Older versions of programs are often susceptible to viruses.
- Watch for what you’re doing when finding certain files. An antivirus program can potentially fail to find a Trojan horse file.
- You should backup the content on your computer regularly. Portable hard drives and cloud servers are particularly useful for this. A backup can work as added protection if anything bad comes about.
- Watch for where you are downloading things from and how the files come about. Check on the quality of these files to ensure you’re not coming across anything that might be potentially dangerous.
- Always scan new files as they appear on your computer. A complete antivirus scan will check on whether your computer is taking in anything that is potentially dangerous.
What If You Have An Infection?
Even with all the measures you put in for protecting your computer, there is still a chance you might develop an infection in your computer. An infection can be dangerous if you don’t take care of it soon, but it can be worse if you take care of it the wrong way.There are some helpful steps that you can use if you have an infection in your computer:
- Restart your computer or power it down and start it up again. The effort will confirm that you have a problem with your computer or if you only have a slight issue that can be resolved by restarting your computer.
- Make sure you download a proper antivirus program on your computer if you have not done so yet. The software can provide instructions on what to do next.
- Disconnect your computer from any online connections or other devices it links up to. A disconnection ensures that your virus is not going to spread anywhere else.
- Check on the antivirus program. The program should help with erasing the infected content.
- Restore any old versions of files that were infected. You should add the backups of those files provided that you have them for any reason.
The most important thing to do here is to avoid panicking or being overly worried when taking care of your computer. Trying to do things without thinking twice can result in you making the wrong decisions or moves over trying to fix your computer well enough.
There are many things that you should do when aiming to keep your online experiences safe:
Anything you post online will be up forever. Make sure you avoid doing anything that might be potentially dangerous.
There is always a chance that people might be impersonating others while online. Watch for what you do when interacting with others in any way.
Although some online places might seem private, it is easy for some bits of data to be recovered. You’ll have to watch for your general privacy when getting online and doing anything of note.
Avoid getting into chat rooms or other places that you might not normally be comfortable with.
As appealing as sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites can be, these places can still be dangerous. You’ll have to ensure you avoid doing anything that might be harmful while on social media. This includes possible sending negative messages to others.
There is a potential that you might have your data used for various purposes, sometimes without your permission. You might have people personally advertising to you based on what you do online. Some people could also take your email address and use it to send promotional emails to you.
It is easy for people to try and grab various bits of information from your name. Make sure you avoid sending anything to people that might try and take advantage of you for whatever reason.
Additional Tips For Kids
Kids should also look at some important pointers when getting online so they won’t be at risk of harm. There are many tips that kids should follow when getting online and having fun:
Additional Tips For Parents
These tips should be used by parents when taking a look at what their kids are doing while online:
- Check on the sites your kids go on before they start.
- Establish rules for what your kids can and cannot do online. This includes rules like not talking to strangers or giving out personal bits of information.
- Check the privacy policies of the sites your kids visit. Review what these say based on how these sites will keep your kids protected.
- Make sure you enjoy your time online with your kids. You should ensure that kids know the online world can be fun and exciting provided that they know what they are doing while getting out there for any reason.
What Every Parent Should Watch For
There are always going to be threats and risks that might put your kids in danger while online. There are many things for all parents to watch for when looking at their kids while they are online:
- Watch for when your child spends significant amounts of time online. This includes time at night.
- Be aware of what your child is downloading. Your child could be at risk of harm if you find pornography on the computer.
- Your child should not be taking in called from people he or she does not know. Be aware of this concern at all times.
- Your child might also receive things from people you don’t know. Take a look at what is happening here if this concern does happen.
- There may also be times when your child turns off the monitor real fast when you walk into the room. Be aware of this, as this may be a sign of something unusual.
Talking With Your Kid About Predators
There are some things that you should discuss with your child when you suspect an online predator might be going after your child. Predators of all sorts can hurt children if not careful. There are many things that you can do when talking with your child about predators:
You can contact the FBI or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children if you have definite evidence that your child has been in contact with a sexual predator.