A Quick Checklist
3 things you can do that will make your online existence safer.
1) Use the Safety Settings Provided.
Good mobile phones like the iPhone range come with Pre-installed safety settings. Make sure you read and understand them and apply those that best meet your needs.
If you are giving a child a phone, think about presetting the settings to provide the level of protection suitable for them and password controlling it before you give it to them.
Many other devices, such as the X-box, Sony PlayStation, Satellite TV boxes as well as computers have useful safety settings that make limiting inappropriate content or contact easier.
2) Safer Social Networking
Read the Terms and Conditions – What limits do they set? Do they restrict age? Do they reinforce privacy measures and are they easy to understand? Do you know what you are agreeing to? READ THEM!
Privacy Settings – The settings on good sites will be easy to understand and access. They will allow you to protect your privacy by allowing you to decide who sees what? If they don’t DON’T USE THE SITE unless you are prepared for anyone to see what you say, where you are and what you are doing.
Blocking – Good sites will have easy blocking mechanisms that allow you to stop someone following or engaging with you if you don’t want them too. Blocking buttons should be easy to see and use.
Moderation – Good sites will provide some type of moderation. This might be human oversight or built in systems that identify abusive language and or inappropriate content. Check whether your site is moderated. All children’s sites should be moderated.
Reporting – Good social networking sites will have a well-resourced reporting function. The button should be easy to access and use. If you cannot see it, it is no use to you. Check the site. A reporting button is only as good as the system and people behind it. If you make a report and don’t receive a reply within a reasonable time you might want to think about whether the site takes safety seriously. Good sites will reply promptly.
Safety Centers – Well-established sites will provide access to a safety center where you can access advice on best practice, how to make the best use of the site and how to keep your self and young users safe.
Some sites will provide access to third party support such as charities or organisations like CEOP, NCMEC in the US and the Virtual Global Taskforce site. Providing access to these sites is a positive safety measure and indicates a commitment to facilitating external support when necessary.
3) Backup Stuff
If it is important to you, don’t risk losing it – back it up!
Backing up important work, documents or photos is easier than it has ever been before. Use a cloud account to routinely store, back up and protect your valuable information and memories. You might want to consider setting up a Dropbox account or similar service. Dropbox provides Apps for Windows iOS and smart phones. Reasonable storage space to get you started is free.
If you are not sure how, simply Google the information and follow the instructions.