It’s a given — your friends, family, and children are going to be online. Although this isn’t a terrible thing, there are a few simple tasks you can do to keep them, and yourself, safe. Below are a handful of legal rights and safety tips to consider as an internet explorer and technology user.

  1. Never upload or reuse images that you don’t own the rights to. Registering for a membership at Getty Images or ShutterStock, and modifying your GoogleImage searches, can help prevent reusing copyrighted images and risk trouble.
  2. You have the right to not respond to messages that are harassing, obscene, inappropriate, or suggestive.
  3. Whatever someone tells you online may or may not be true. Be careful when browsing websites and exchanging information with users.
  4. Arranging face-to-face meetings with people you meet online is usually dangerous. Unless you’ve conducted business with the user and/or are familiar acquaintances, keep your eyes out for red flags.
  5. Never download images from an unknown source, as it’s a good chance the image is copyrighted and not up for commercial and/or non-commercial reuse. Refer back to tip 1!
  6. Be careful when transmitting personal information over the Internet: (encryption technology scrambles the information you enter).
  7. Install and keep your virus software up-to-date.
  8. Never send any personal information (i.e., Social Security number, bank account information) in an e-mail. This is typically not safe.

Identity Theft Online:

Identity theft usually occurs online when someone uses your information like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number to commit fraud. Do not respond to any unsettling emails asking for your personal information, as they’re usually unsafe and harmful towards your identity.

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