The internet is a nifty place. You can instantly chat with all different types of people… but that’s just it, you’re talking to people when you type, people you can’t see and that you don’t know anything about. Do you always tell the truth? Of course not. Neither does everyone else… but all you know about people online is what they decide to tell you. Kinda spooky when you think about it, right? It doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on the internet though, or talk to people and make new friends that share your interests. You just have to be careful and use common sense and the tips I’m about to give you to stay safe.
When you meet someone, a stranger, do you immediately tell them your full name, phone numbers, passwords, birth dates or years, or credit card information? Umm… I sure do hope you don’t. Your phone number can be used to track down your home address and all of this other information can be used similarly. One piece of personal information can help the wrong people find out all of it.
Don't tell anyone your schedule, your daily routine, who is having a party and where, or where you'll be hanging out. Telling someone just one of these details could allow them to figure out the rest and you’d essentially be inviting a stranger to find you.
Don't fill out any questionnaires, even if they’re from friends, or make any lists of important, or defining information. All information you type can be copied and pasted or forwarded to someone else. You have no control of information you post on the internet. It can end up anywhere and be used for anything.
There is no such thing as privacy on the internet. People can find the things you post and save and keep them forever. You can’t delete someone else’s private copy, you won’t even know it exists. This is especially true in regards to pictures. Any picture you post can be saved by another person, a stranger, and used however they want. Also make sure that pictures you post don’t reveal any personal details or locations. An online predator can easily locate you if, for example, the name of your school is in the background of a photo.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid doing anything online that you wouldn't want your parents, grandparents, teachers, boss, a potential college admissions board member, or your friends from Equestria to see.
Y'all stay safe now, ya hear!