Internet Safety Expert's Online Safety Tips - June 22, 2012

 In honor of Internet Safety Month, Internet Safety Expert, Lori Getz has generously shared her expertise with us on staying safe online
Lori Getz, founder of Cyber Education Consultants (CEC)

Keep your network of friends small. It's not enough just knowing your friends online but TRUSTING them! We share some pretty personal things (and sometimes others share them for us) like pictures, vacation statuses, financial information, etc. I don't let anyone into my online social network I wouldn't have at my dinner table!

Personal information is no longer private! Our names, addresses, phone numbers, the schools our children go to are all easily accessible online either through our own publication or that of aggregators. There are billions of people online every day and what is going to want to make one of them become interested in your child?

It's simple... The real rules of Internet safety come down to is this.

  1. Don't draw attention (don't get friendly with other gamers, post yourself all over YouTube or create a public persona to become "famo"...Internet famous).
  2. And second, never cultivate a relationship with someone you meet online. If it's a stranger to begin with there is no need to develop a deeper relationship online or off. Keep it casual in gaming and other social environments and teach your children that YOU are on team child and NOT team trouble. If the same person continually shows up while your child is playing online, make sure they tell you! If someone is asking them questions that they know are inappropriate, you want to know. Not to take away the tech, but help them make a decision about whether or not this is someone they should be trusting.

Follow these simple steps and you can game, surf, and socialize safely!

Lori Getz of Cyber Education Consultants is an educator, Internet safety expert, mom & tech geek. She has appeared on the Dr. Phil Show, Today, CNN, and several other news and radio programs. Follow Lori on Twitter @LoriGetz and Facebook.