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The Essentials to Staying Safe Online.

Be Smart, Be Safe, But Don't be Left Behind!
Protect Your Privacy Online

    The Social Networking Safety page tells briefly of things to do for safety in social networking sites. The other pages in this web site give more detail of what to do for online safety for each topic.

  1. Keep your personal information private
  2. Only add friends you know in real life
  3. Set your page and blog to private
  4. Use a nickname that doesn't identify your location, gender, or age
  5. Use a disposable email (hotmail, yahoo, ZoEmail, Emailias, Spamex, Spamgourment, 2Prong, Ed4ward)
  6. Never meet in person with anyone you have first met online
  7. Alter your pictures before you post them to remove identifying information
  8. Profile and photo share only with people on your friends list
  9. Don't post your plans or whereabouts on your site
  10. Ignore harassing or rude comments posted on your profile
  11. Think about the possible consequences of the information and photos you post
  12. Never post sexually provocative photos
  13. Educate Yourself

    Become familiar with your social networking site:

    • Read the Privacy Policy
    • Read the Terms of Use
    • Locate your privacy settings and adjust them to fit your needs

    Check the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use from time to time to see if your social networking site has changed them.

    Be Careful about the Information you post

    • Respect others: do not post sensitive information about your friends without their permission
    • Use a different password for your social networking sites than for other sites
    • Think carefully whether you would want the information you post on social networking sites accessed and used in other contexts (ie. a job interview)
    • Consider using a pseudonym

    Adjust Your Privacy Settings

    Most of the social networking websites have privacy settings. In some cases, it is appropriate to leave your information open to the public – for example, if you are promoting your business or art. However, for more personal uses of a social networking site, it is appropriate to limit who has access to your information. Carefully choose privacy settings to limit your exposure accordingly. If you are receiving unsolicited messages, you may block the sender using your privacy settings. It is also a good idea to notify your social networking provider of any threatening or suspicious behaviour that you may encounter. Lastly, if your social networking site profile has been hacked into, change your password or delete the account altogether.


    A definition and history of Social Networking: co-written by danah m. boyd a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information at the University of California-Berkeley and a Fellow at the Harvard University Berkman Center for Internet and Society. Her research focuses on how people negotiate mediated contexts like social network sites for sociable purposes.

    Privacy Complaint Filed Against Facebook - June 2008 - CIPPIC's complaint alleges 22 separate violations by Facebook, including its failure to inform Facebook members of how their personal information is disclosed to third parties for advertising and other profit-making activities and its failure to obtain permission from Facebook members to use their personal information.

    An example of implications of Facebook regarding Privacy and Right to a Fair Trial:

    Beware Facebook's Beacon: 

    Facebook Phonies:

    Quote from a blog about facebook:
    "What is not healthy on the websites are the false accusations, the gossip, the libelous actions, and the innuendos that permeate some of the sites. Those in middle school seem to be the worst at this. In righteous indignation they name those who are accused of crimes, or are taken in for questioning. They do not understand or respect the legal system in which we are presumed innocent until proven guilty. In small communities everyone knows the names of those involved and rumours spread regarding what is happening. The conversations can turn vitriolic and they recommend violent answers to the murder and demand violent retribution for those who have unfairly passed away. "
    Criminal Investigations in Canada and Social Networking: (here)

    Differences between SNS users and Non Users: 

    Illusion of privacy give users a false sense of security and could lead to Phising attacks: 
    Facebook, MySpace are great resources for scammers: 

    Facebook has a problem with Trust: