Internet safety day

The Internet is a wonderful place – filled with information and ways to keep in touch. You can buy, you can sell, you can connect.

Today’s a special day – International Internet safety day.

In honor of the day, I think we all should watch this instructional music video.

And while you’re watching the video and learning about dodgy 80’s music with random videography, I would also suggest that you review the following internet safety tips (from me – in my years of working in the internet industry) because well, it’s always good to remind yourself once in a while:

a) There’s no such thing as “private” on the Internet. If you post it, it can be read, seen, and found – even years later. Keep this in mind because it’s like a “permanent” record – and can be used for/against you for the rest of your life. Remember this when posting to chat boards, blogs, facebook and other social networking sites. (No kidding. It’s not like the so-called permanent record we had in school.. this really is permanent. Ever seen Google’s cached pages or even tried looking up old pages on using the “wayback machine”? There’s stuff on there going back well.. forever.) Follow the general rule of “would I feel bad if my mom read what I just posted?” and/or “would I want to be treated like this?”. Type, read, re-read, and then THINK BEFORE YOU POST. (People have been fired for posting things about their job, about how they’re not sick but taking a sick day, etc…)

b) Never share your password with anyone. I know this seems obvious, but really, passwords should be private and not written down/carried around. They should also be something hard to guess and numbers/letters mixed. Never Ever use “password” as your password. My suggestion is to use a combination of numbers/letters that look like something you’ll remember. For example, MyCatLovesMe could become MyC4tL0v3sM3 – and be a really great password. This is because “A” looks like 4, “o” looks like “0”, E looks like a reversed “3” and so on. Otherwise, be careful when using special characters in a password. They may work with some programs / sign ins but not with others – it depends on how the password database is coded.

c) Don’t download / open attachments without scanning them with Anti-virus software- and NEVER EVER from someone / somplace you don’t know. Either of these is just asking for trouble. You wouldn’t pour sugar in your car’s gas tank – it’d ruin your car. It’s the same concept with your computer downloads.

d) If it looks like a fishy, and it smells fishy, it’s probabally “phishy”. This is a great philosophy. If you open an email and it’s asking for your details – or go to a site and they’re asking you to give them your credit card data – and you’ve no reason for being asked this – most likely, it’s someone’s attempt to “fish” (or phish) your information to use it maliciously. If you suspect that it’s not “for real” – it’s probabally best to not fill it out. Scams, ID Theft, and money loss could occur – and we all know in these times – it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most legit websites won’t ask for this type of information without you actually “asking” for something. Eg. If you go to the bank and open an account, they will ask for your info. If “a bank” sends you an email out of the blue asking for your data – even if it looks like your bank, it’s probabally “phishing”.

e) Know everyone on your buddy list. If you don’t – and are chatting randomly – Don’t meet up with people you don’t already know. It’s just good sense. There are bad people out there. You have to look out for yourself – and it’s easier to lie in “text” than it is face to face because you have no body signals to give away the lies. Be safe out there.

Otherwise, here’s a few other suggestions from Google – that are worth reviewing.

Google’s Internet Safety Tips

Now that you’re educated – and reminded – I hope you all feel a little better about doing my version of the “internet safety dance”.