The internet is a fantastic place to access information, connect with people and make new friends but while you do that you need to always think about Staying Safe Online.
However, it can be a potentially dangerous place too.
Although many people meet new friends and partners online, it’s important to consider your safety.
Many parents rely on the internet to socialize, particularly when you have young children and finding a babysitter is difficult.
If you’re chatting to new people online, however, don’t automatically believe everything they tell you.
Unfortunately, there are people who use the internet to target others, so it’s essential to practice good online safety at all times.
If you want to ensure your safety online and in real-life, take a look at these top tips now.
Staying Safe Online: Don’t Release Personal Information
When you’re online, don’t be tempted to release any personal information about yourself or your family.
Although you may use secure sites for things like online banking, the rules are quite different when you’re chatting to people online or posting in forums.
Here, it’s essential to keep your personal information close to your chest.
It’s easy to track someone down from just a few details, so don’t tell anyone where you live, what company you work for, or where your children go to school.
Remember – it’s easy for people to piece information together from the little things you tell them.
Although you may not tell someone where your kids go to school, mentioning a school event or posting a picture of them in their uniform could be enough for someone to accurately guess this information.
Be vigilant about what you’re putting on the internet, no matter where you’re posting. From social media platforms to online support groups; it pays to put safety first.
Staying Safe Online: Prepare for Offline Meetups
You may decide that you want to meet an online friend in real life, particularly if you’ve been communicating for a while.
While many people do meet new people via the internet, it’s essential to plan ahead if you’re going to meet someone from the internet face-to-face.
As well as researching them and finding out everything you can about them, you’ll want to meet in a public place.
Somewhere busy, like a café or restaurant, will mean you’re surrounded by other people, which can help to ensure your safety.
Do you feel uncomfortable at any point, don’t be afraid to ask for help from the people around you.
If possible, take a friend or family member with you when you first meet someone in real life but don’t be tempted to take your kids along.
When no-one is available to accompany you, tell someone you trust where you’re going, when you expect to be back, and check in with them regularly, so they know you’re okay.
Staying Safe Online: Research the People You Meet Online
People can build lifelong friendships over the internet, but it’s essential to validate any information you’re given online.
If you’re chatting with someone you’ve met on a forum or a dating website, for example, you won’t know whether they’re telling you the truth unless you do some research.
One of the best ways to find out more about someone is to access their public records.
When you search for a residence history, for example, you can confirm where the person lives and compare it to the information they’ve told you.
If someone tells you they live in California, but their residence history shows them living in Texas, something’s amiss.
With Public Records Reviews, you can access residence histories quickly and easily.
As well as confirming current addresses, a quick search on Public Records Reviews will tell you whether the individual has been subject to court-ordered evictions, foreclosures, and you can take a look at the roommates or neighbors that have been linked to them in the past.
In addition to this, you can find out whether registered sex offenders live near the person’s address.
This can provide valuable information about their local community and help you to build up a picture of this person’s lifestyle and trustworthiness.
Safeguarding Your Family
Online safety is a priority for anyone, but it’s especially important for parents.
Children begin using technology at a very young age, so there’s always a chance they could stumble across content that someone sends you.
By following online safety protocols and installing internet restrictions on your devices, you can help to protect youngsters from dangers online.
Furthermore, practicing good internet safety will help you set a good example for your children as they grow up.
Although you may want to shield your kids from the realities of the internet, they do need to know why online safety is so important.
When they see you following online safety protocols, they’ll be more likely to take the same approach in the future.