Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Safety on Facebook

Ever Google yourself? What's on the Internet that others can see? Knowing the principles of Internet Security can not only keep you safe from Identity Theft, but can also be an important part of leaving an abusive relationship.

Here are some things you can do to keep yourself safe on the Internet:
  • Using a made-up name and email address when you post any sort of comments on blogs or other sites that are accessible to the public can cut down on sites that the abuser can find if he searches for you on the Internet.*
  • Before buying anything off of the Internet, check to make sure that the site is secure. The site’s web address should start with https:// and there should be a lock icon on the page somewhere (a little picture of a padlock). If you only put your information into a secure website, you can decrease the chances that an abuser who knows how to get information from an unsecured site can get access to your personal information. To be extra secure, you can choose to not buy things off the Internet. If there is something that can only be purchased on-line that you really need, ask a family member or friend to buy it for you using his/her name and address.
  • If asked by a website if they can share your information with “associates of the site” or “selected partners,” say “No.” If you agree to let them share your information, you will have no control over how any site that is given your information will use it.
  • Be aware of how much indentifying information you are posting on any of your social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, or blogs. Remember to consider what information you want everyone, including an abuser, to be able to see.** If you moved to get away from the abuser, there is a possibility he could identify your location through pictures, videos, or general information on profiles.
  • Also, anytime you buy a magazine subscription, give your name and phone number to a cashier at a store, or provide your personal information to any company, that information could find its way onto the Internet. Think carefully before giving out your personal information to anyone.
Read about deleting your Facebook profile, keeping your home address confidential and other Internet Security tips at WomensLaw.org.

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