Online Safety: Consequential and Helpful Actions Online and on Social Media
I wrote a short article about online safety, because after all, the Hopscotch forum is technically social media, but I know it isn't the best. Just don't judge.
Between the emails, posts, and text that are sent, there is always that person in trouble from that one careless email or post. From college to work, keeping a good reputation online is very important. Social media is now being used more than ever, and not always responsibly. Whether it’s Pinterest or Facebook, irresponsible people find themselves in a hole of trouble with nobody else to blame but themselves. Comments and posts online all have their dangers, and everyone needs to recognize it. These things can jeopardize jobs, money, property, and even relationships. All from one simple click. As you can see, online safety is very important.
One important topic of online safety is your professional persona. Your professional persona can be used against and you to your advantage.Schools and work all want people that “meet their corporate values.” One way they achieve this is by checking social media accounts.By searching, they find out WHO you are. What they find is identified as your “professional persona.” All your likes, dislikes, posts and comments contribute to your professional persona. Imagine you are a recruiter for a robotic engineering company. If someone ‘liked’ a post about robots, one could infer that this person is interested in technology. Looking for a worthy employee, you may consider hiring this person. Your professional persona is your online image; how you want the world, future employers, and academic recruiters to see you as. One may see you posting or liking inappropriate content, they may think differently about you.
Being wary about posting online is another area of online citizenship and safety. “Follow the rules that your parents have set.” Again, you can use posting online to your advantage or to disadvantage. Before posting anything, make sure it doesn’t include any inappropriate content that could potentially harm your professional persona or someone's feelings. Another rule is to never type in all CAPS. In this way, it can seem that you are yelling. Messages like this always stick out, and not in a good way. People will not be able to tell whether you are yelling or just excited. This can hurt people’s feelings. Also, be sure to never boast about anything. Believe it or not, this can lead to your brand new flat screen being stolen. For example: “Hey ■■■■■■! GUESS WHUT! i get to go 2 flrda w/ myfam to disneyland! HAHAHA I also got a sick new flat scrn tv at home!!! ■■■■■■! I get to leave my home at 67 Park Street to go to Disney land!” There are many things wrong about this post. For one, the bad grammar. If your college recruiter saw you spelling like this, he would probably not hire you. Secondly, the CAPS LOCK on his words. Like said before, this is a bad idea. Furthermore, the message is offensive to others reading it. The usage of name calling in the post can be very mean to the viewers. This is the same with the boasting. And, most importantly, the information that is shared. The post says that you are away to Disneyland. This is already sharing the fact that he is away. But the fact that he was bragging about his new flat-screen TV was too obvious. A criminal could steal that flat screen TV that he knows you have easily because you TOLD him where you live and that you were away. Never give away any information that could potentially harm you, like where you live or credit card number. This can lead to the same scenario as this. So, now that you know, next time, pay attention before your post.
This brings us to information sharing. “Don’t reply to or start a conversation with people you don’t know.” A principal rule about being online is to never talk to strangers online. They can trick you into giving them information without you noticing. Despite the most alertness, these hackers adapt ways of squeezing information from you. When signing up for any website, never give out private information. This information includes but is not limited to: Cell phone numbers, your mother’s maiden name, where you live, or any credit card number. all these can eventually harm your way of life; your money, bank accounts, and property. This information public is prone to disasters. So be sure to never post these types of information.
As you can tell, going on the internet should always be done with caution. However, use it to your advantage. Using your newfound knowledge to fashion a new, innovative reputation online to aid you. Make smart decisions and helpful posts. Use the online web as a tool in life. Now that you know all of this, use it to your advantage, and, hopefully, from now on, you won’t be that one in trouble from that one careless email or post.
Just so you know, the censored out words weren't swears, just mildly offensive words that the hopscotch filter is forced to censor.
Domine, Larry (June 2014). “How Are Students using Social Media?”
learn.tkschools.org (2009) “Do’s and don’ts of Internet Safety.”
National Cyber Security Alliance (2014) “Internet Safety Tips for Teens, Educators, and Families.”