Change your passwords often. The simple act of changing your password will increase the likelihood that your email remains secure. In addition, alpha-numeric passwords are harder to break, so be sure to use both numbers and letters.
Never open attachments from unknown sources. Be cautious about attachments from people you don't know. They may contain Trojan horses, worms, or viruses, which can seriously damage your computer. Make sure anti-virus software scans all attachments before you open them, as this is a common way for viruses to spread.
Do not reply to spam email messages, texts, or other harassing or offensive communication. By responding, you only confirm that you are an actual person with an active email address... who can be plagued with constant unwanted email solicitations.
Respect your friends. Don't give out their personal information without their permission.
Keep a record. If somebody is bullying or harassing you via email or text, don't delete it until you have discussed how to stop it with somebody you trust. It may help to find out who is sending the messages if you don't already know, and it will definitely make the situation easier to explain to someone when you tell them.
Tell someone. If you receive communications that are bullying or threatening in nature, be sure to tell someone about them. If you feel you are being harassed or threatened, you should report them to your local police.
Have more than one email account. Use a personal email address for friends and family for example. If you have to give an email address for entering a competition or registering for a service, it is a good idea to use a different address rather than your personal one, as this may lead to you receiving a lot of unwanted spam mail for example.
Spam is the common term for "junk email." The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 defines spam as "any unsolicited email message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service."
When advertisements arrive in your inbox for things like low-rate mortgages, miracle drugs, or cheap long distance services, you have been spammed. Spam often advertises suspicious products, sends false notifications, or "get rich quick" promotions. It can be used to spread computer viruses, Trojan horses or other malicious software. Some spam attempts to use the victims' inexperience with computer technology to trick them, for example, phishing.
Federal Trade Commission - Spam
Stopspam.org provides a repository of information on how you can help stop various Internet abuses, such as Spamming, Unsolicited Commercial/Bulk email, Make Money Fast Chain Letters, Rogue Sites, etc., as well as how to fight back if you are the victim of one of these types of abuse.
Social networks offer great opportunities for self-expression, support, new experiences, helpful information and just plain fun. These sites generally enable their subscribers to post, comment on and share messages and content from others.
Objectionable content: In many online communities, users post material that is not appropriate for children or that many parents would find objectionable. This can include obscene language, racist or violent text or images, and a wide range of sexual content including pornography.
Overexposure: Parents and guardians need to be concerned not only with what their children might see and hear, but also what they may present. Teens can make unwise decisions about what they post online and send to others. This includes posting pictures of himself or herself or of friends in a sexually provocative or incriminating manner; publishing personal information that sexual predators could use to learn more about a child or their friends; or bragging about exploits (real or made-up) or making threatening and harassing remarks that could have negative consequences.
Contact with predators: Much publicity has been generated around sexual predators (mainly adults) looking for minors to exploit. Sometimes, these adults will pretend to be teens themselves, but often they will be quite clear about their age and intent.
Meeting someone you have only met online can be dangerous. If you are going to meet them, for your own safety, take someone you trust with you and meet in a public place in the daytime. Another option is to tell someone you trust that you are meeting someone you don't know. Tell them who, where, and when. Notify them when you return home so they know you are okay.
Be careful who you trust online. Remember that online friends are really strangers. People online, no matter how long you have been talking to them or how friendly they are, may not be who they say they are.
It is important to understand the dangers and risks involved with mobile devices.
Easy to use, lose and steal
In reality, these devices are not just phones; they are powerful, tiny computers. Because they are small, mobile devices can be easy to lose and easy to steal, which places all of the information in your email, online habits and other confidential treasures out in the open where a cyber thief can steal them.
Who is texting your kids?
If you provide your kids with a mobile phone, they also may be sending and receiving text messages, which can be risky on several levels. Sexual predators often master the technologies that kids like. Also, text messages go to a mobile phone number. Do your children know who has access to their mobile phone number?
Lock down your mobile device. Make sure you have a strong password so if anyone does find your device; they'll have to work hard to crack your code.
Don't text and drive. Not only texting while driving increase your risk of causing an accident, it is also against the law in Rhode Island.
Monitor what your kids do with their mobile phone. Review their contact lists and make sure they exchange messages and phone numbers with people you trust.
Only give your mobile number out to people you already know and trust.
Respect your friends' privacy and don't give out their numbers without their permission.
Get your friends' permission before taking pictures of them. Be sure to get their permission especially before sending pictures to someone else or posting them to the Internet. Remember that as soon as you have sent them, you can't control where they end up.
Think before you hit "send." Remember that when you text you can't see the impact your words or images will have.
Never reply to text messages from people you don't know. This includes spam.
Tips for Parents and Guardians
Things for Parents and Guardians to Discuss With Children
The National Do Not Call Registry is an easy way to stop getting telemarketing sales calls they don't want. You can add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry or you can call toll-free: 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236), from the number you wish to register.