This School Year, Help Kids with the Safe & Responsible Use of Social Networks

This School Year, Help Kids with the Safe & Responsible Use of Social Networks

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Blog from Trend Micro - Tips for safe and responsible use of social networks. #internetsafety @LynetteTOwens
Monday, August 22, 2011 - 9:15am


by Lynette Owens

With the arrival of another school year, many students my also return to a renewed and heavier use of their social networks to keep up with everything from school activities to the social scene.  So it’s important to teach and remind young people about the safe and responsible use of social media.

Social networks mirror social landscapes in real life, where there are both good and bad actors.
While a lot of the focus has been on peer-related issues such as bullying, sexting, and privacy there is one overlooked area that should be included when we talk to kids about using social networks safely and responsibly: cybercrime.
In many cases, cybercriminals are not necessarily targeting kids, but they always gather wherever people do.  And their crimes are designed to fool people into doing something they didn’t realize was harmful.  In other cases, they may in fact be targeting youth when child identity theft is their motive.  Criminals can use a child’s personal information to open lines of credit, for example, and not be discovered for a long time because parents do not typically check their kids’ credit histories as there wouldn’t usually be a reason to do so.
Cybercriminals’ tricks are sometimes as benign as making you click on something because they get paid by advertisers for every click (click fraud).  They can also fool you into clicking on links in wall posts that lead you to a fake site designed to install spyware on your system, get you to download what you thought was free music but is actually a bot, or convince you to enter personal information like a userid and password on a hacked site.
Some tips you can give to kids who use social networking sites include:
  1. Only connect with those you know or those you are certain can be trusted.

  2. Use the strongest privacy settings that still allow you the flexibility you need to use the site in the way you want.

  3.  Share only information that is absolutely necessary, especially when you may not know who your network of friends might be sharing it with.


About Trend Micro
To support our vision of making the world safe for exchanging digital information, Trend Micro aspires to make a difference by using our 20+ years of expertise in developing world-class security software for homes and businesses  to make the world at large a better place. One of the ways we do this is through a commitment to make the Internet a safer place for young people around the world. 


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