Websites like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter can be fun ways to send messages to your classmates after school, share pictures with out-of-state family members, and let your friends know a little bit more about you. But these sites can also be dangerous. Luckily, TrueCare works with you and your parents to keep you safe from online dangers such as cyber bullying and strangers and helps you to protect your reputation.
Here’s what you should know about TrueCare and proper Internet use so that you can enjoy social media sites safely!
- Your parents aren’t spying on you. TrueCare helps your parents monitor what you’re doing online, but they’re not spying on you. Your parents will be alerted if mean comments are posted or someone you don’t know tries to contact you, so they can protect you from getting hurt.
- Online strangers are real and dangerous. People who you meet online may not be who they say they are. Make sure you only “friend” people who you know or your parents know in real life. If you’re not sure, ask your parents if they think it’s safe to friend a certain person.
- Cyber bullying is not acceptable. When mean things are posted on the Internet, they don’t hurt any less than if they were said in person. Cyber bullying is not OK. If someone is bothering you online, be sure to tell your parents so they can help put it to a stop. And before you post something mean about someone, think about how you'd feel if someone said that about you.
- Online posts are NOT private! Regardless of your privacy settings, what you communicate online and any photos or videos that you post can easily be copied and forwarded to hundreds, thousands or even millions of people. What you post online can be the first impression you make about yourself to people like your friends, your friend’s parents, teachers, college admissions officers and future employers. Be sure that what you're posting is how you want to represent yourself.
- Keep your personal information private. Set up your profile so only your friends and family can see your information and photos. And, never share your address or phone number and limit other types of information. Ask your parents how to customize your profile and block certain users so that you can use your favorite sites safely!
- Talk to your parents about what happens online. You may run into situations online that you have never experienced before or are unsure of how to handle, so it’s important to talk to your parents. Also, remember that just because you see something online or something happens to you online, that does not necessarily make it your fault. Talk to your parents right away if an issue arises, that way they can help you avoid problems before they get too big.