PSA Of The Day: How To Internet Safely Hello Lovelies! It's that time again to talk about how to be safe on the internet. I know this topic seems a bit redundant and like the lot of it is common sense. However, it is good to have a refresher every so often if just to remind you how serious it is to keep your privacy when communicating on the internet. Now most of the people you're going to meet here on Iwaku are good people. Sometimes strange, but good nonetheless. ;D Unfortunately, there is always that 2% that are BAD. Whether they are annoying trolls, or seriously dangerous predators it is important to keep a close eye on what information you are handing out to, let's be honest, strangers. So let's talk about ways to remain safe: Do not give out your IRL name unless you are REALLY comfortable with who you are talking to. Even if you feel like you really know the person you are talking to you should ask yourself "Does this person need this information?" There is no shame in keeping your personal information personal. This is especially true for teenagers, and even more true for people in their young teens. Furthermore, do not share other people's personal information. You may think it's harmless and only in passing, but it is a big deal. Not only is it violating someone's privacy, but you are potentially putting another person in harm. This includes sharing their name, Facebook page, school they attend, where they live (even if you only mention the state), their birthday, etc... Just because you may be comfortable sharing your information with others doesn't mean they are. What does your profile say about you? You'd be surprised how much information someone could gather on you by your profile alone. Do you include your birth year/graduating year in your username? "JaneDoe87." These types of usernames are incredibly easy to spot. How about your location? Does it list your real town/state? Now if you've ever mentioned your name in passing a predator may potentially have your name, how old you are, and generally where you live. That is sufficient information to start searching for you online. Now a lot of you list your age/birthday on your profile, and that is okay so long as you don't hand out a lot of other personal information along with it. Being in Security, I am in constant shock at how many members I come across that list their real name, age, and location in their "About Me" section of their profiles. That is pretty much handing out all of your privacy on a silver platter to whomever wants it as far as the internet is concerned. If you are doing this especially if you're a teen I highly encourage you to rethink this. Other ways you are handing out your information that you may not be aware of: You post a picture of yourself. Is your real name in the link of the picture? You're in one of Iwaku's chat rooms and it's only you and one other person in the chat that you trust, so you don't see the harm in talking about more personal things such as your school, hometown, etc. But who is lurking? You posted something a long time ago in let's say the Picture Thread, and even though you're being safe now you don't think it's a big deal to let it stay there. You can always delete your past posts. We do have members who scroll through the picture thread page by page. Speaking of pictures... what's in the background? Your home address? Your name? Your school? How about your Skype, Discord, Tumblr, etc.. What information do these post publicly about you? Be careful who you give your Facebook account to! You'd be surprised HOW much information ca be dug up on the most private of accounts. Warning signs that someone has malicious intent: Sometimes it's hard to tell if someone is crossing the line or is just socially awkward. Always listen to your gut and never be afraid to report suspicious behavior. This behavior may surface in the following ways: They may be pressuring you to roleplay smut with them or send them pictures of yourself. It may sound like common sense but this is a big indicator of someone with malicious intentions. If someone is pressuring you in any way to provide personal information or to role play smut with them after you've told them no, you should ignore them and/or report them if you feel uncomfortable. They are asking for your real name/ where you live, facebook account etc.. and you don't know them. Someone tells you not to report something or you can 't report something. You can always report anything you find suspicious, harassing, malicious, etc... If anyone tells you it's okay that you're not in the same age group and it's okay for you two role play smut over PM. This is absolutely NOT okay and they should be reported immediately. Smutting outside your age group knowingly is grounds for immediate ban. What to do if someone is making you feel uncomfortable: Ignore/block them. If they continue to bother you report them. That is what Security is here for. To keep the members of Iwaku and the Administrators safe from potential predators and legal liabilities. Never doubt your instincts because your gut feeling is most of the time correct. If you're ever unsure report, report, report. Do not be afraid of any social ramifications if you report someone. The report system is anonymous and the Staff is trained to handle all cases with the utmost discretion. We never tell someone who reported them. And as a rule of thumb it is better safe than sorry. If it turns out to be a misunderstanding at least it will be on record if something comes up down the road to somebody else. Is a Staff Member making you uncomfortable and you're afraid to report them? Use this Report a Staffer form. The only people who will see the report are the admins: @Diana @Vay @whateverRoryiscallinghimselfnow Never open links from people you do not know!: Often times they may be infected with viruses. There are lots of free anti virus programs available for download. One of them being Avast!. For a free virus scanner you can use Malwarebytes. It's free and good to use once a month. And as for a good free firewall you can use Zone Alarm. Giving credit to @Brovo for providing these links on the last Safety PSA. Don't Believe Me? Try this! Are you thinking, "Gosh, Hope you're so paranoid. We aren't dumb. We KNOW all this." then watch the following youtube link: Still Don't Believe Me?Try typing your real name, your email, and your user name into google and check out how much of your information is out there and how easy it is to access with very little to start with. If I've forgotten anything please feel free to post it in the comments below and be safe Iwaku! Security can only do so much, and we need to know about it if there is a problem so we can help. So don't forget to report!