When you share things online you may be sharing with people you do not know or trust. Once a message, photo or video has been shared, you also won't be able to control where it goes.

What do I need to know about safe social networking?

  • Limit your friend list: don’t 'friend' random people.
  • Protect your privacy: don’t share your password and set your profile to private.
  • Your personal details are valuable: don’t share them.
  • Protect your reputation: keep it clean and ask yourself, would you want others to see what you upload?
  • Be careful who you trust: a person can pretend to be someone they are not.
  • Don't use a webcam with people you do not know.
  • Think before you post, chat, upload or download.

How do I control my privacy settings?

All social networking sites have their own version of ‘default’ privacy and security settings. It is important that you know how the site works and how to change the settings to protect your personal information. The Games, apps and social networking section of our website gives you access to step-by-step instructions to control your settings for each social networking platform.

What are the risks of social networking?

The risks in using social networking sites include:
  • Anonymity — it can be easier to say and do things online that you might not do offline.
  • Sharing too much information — for example, photos from a party might be okay for close friends to see but can become an issue if shared more widely.
  • Not protecting your personal information — account details and location information can be used inappropriately by others to find you or access your online accounts. It is important that you understand the risks associated with disclosing information about yourself online and know how to manage both your privacy and online friends.
  • Treating online friends as real friends — it's easy for people to lie online, including those who are seeking children and young people for more than a social relationship. Make sure you are careful about how well you really know your online ‘friends’.

What are location-based services?

Many social networking sites take advantage of location-based services, which enable users to report their physical location to others via their mobile phone. By using this function, users can physically locate friends and others from social networking sites. Individuals can ‘check-in’ from a location to let others know their whereabouts.

On some social networking services the location-based functions are turned on by default. To manage these services, and retain your privacy, review your social networking settings to block the function or to limit who sees your location-based information.

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