Five Tips for Navigating the Online World

A student’s guide

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Photo by Laura Slater

With laptops and phones in every hand, the internet is in use at any given moment. In CT's own library, the desktops hum while students browse, work, and play. Understanding safer ways to participate in those activities is an essential for them to learn.

Caleb Huff, Staffer

  1. Think before you post. What you say stays on the internet forever and you can never take it back. Being rude to others online can lead to many negative outcomes, especially bullying. Teenagers tend to have a reckless, impulsive approach to social media which can lead to embarrassing pictures or hurtful words that are out there forever. 
  2. Use privacy settings. There are people online that look to find people that have their location turned on, allowing an online predator being able to stalk kids, successfully get closer to kids or make them vulnerable to be a victim to kidnapping or robbery.
  3. Don’t friend strangers. Friend requests from strangers more commonly turn out to be spambots. Fake profiles are also created for cyberbullying. So when a new friend request comes in, and you think you know the person, be sure to check their profile first and see if anything looks fishy.
  4. Avoid posting that you are going on vacation, or posting pictures while on vacation… until you are back home. While you think you may just be sharing exciting moments with friends, burglars could see your post and if they know where you live: it’s a free and easy pass to intrude on your home.
  5. Keep your language clean. It’s one thing to cuss or jokingly diss someone when you are face to face with your friends, and the context is clear. But the written word is powerful and lasting. This could easily be misconstrued and make you look mean, hurtful or inappropriate.

These tips are designed to keep you safe and smart when you next use the internet. Knowing the etiquette and being tech-savvy in today’s world is a valuable skill!