Staying Safe

As with any other form of online communication, it is important that you take steps to ensure your safety. You should be very cautious about handing out any kind of personal information, such as your real name, where you live or work and your mobile number.

You should be extremely careful about the use of images, whether of yourself or others. Images that were initially intended for a closed audience have a tendency to become public. A picture of you doing something foolish might be amusing to your online friends today – it won’t be so funny in five years time when a prospective employer finds it while checking you out on Facebook.

Always use appropriate language online. You should assume that everything you say online is going to be there forever, so avoid saying anything that might come back to embarrass you later. Virginia Shea’s Core Rules of Netiquette provide useful guidance in this area.


You can find an interesting video on Netiquette by following this link. You could also try searching YouTube for similar videos.

Respect people’s confidentiality online – don’t pass information that was intended only for you on to others. Be very careful when using mailing lists or CCs (carbon copy) in email. It’s very easy to pass on a list of email addresses without meaning to do so.

Next: Keeping Information Secure