Safe Blogging i-SAFE America Inc. 5963 La Place Court Ste. 309 Carlsbad, CA 92008 Tel: (760) 603-7911 www.isafe.org The Promise and Perils of Blogging A place to write down your teens is natural. Blogging has thinks are innocent details, s/he is thoughts and feelings, your secret become a social event. A way to in reality drawing a roadmap to desires and hopes for the fu- reach out and connect and share her house. S/he is lulled into a ture—one that is open for anyone ideas of a personal nature in an false sense of security by what to read and comment on. Wel- impersonal forum. This private s/he sees as the anonymity of the come to the Blog. diary broadcast to millions of Internet. Blogs, or “weblogs” (“web” + strangers is a way of getting at- This perceived anonymity “log”) are journals posted on the tention while hiding behind a gives rise to the other dangers of Internet. These online diaries are computer. It’s not surprising that blogging: cyber bullying and slan- often hosted free of charge by blogging has so quickly become der. Without the physical immedi- companies who get money by identified as a “teen” pastime. acy of an audience, teen bloggers placing click-through ads on the The promise of teen blogging are less likely to see and under- blog pages. What distinguishes is that it nurtures important social stand the damage their words can the blog from any other web page skills, fills a need for self- do. Schoolyard gossip finds its is the format. The entries are expression, and builds writing way into a blog, and the target of posted in reverse chronological ability. And most of the time it the gossip suffers at the hands of order, and each entry contains an does just that. Careless blogging, unknown online assailants. area for comments from the read- on the other hand, can be dan- Blogs can be used to the ers. This enables topics to be dis- gerous in many ways. same effect by cyber bullies. The cussed among the readers in an The online sexual predator damage done by cyber bullying ongoing dialogue. can over time can glean enough cannot be overstated—just re- Blogs can be written by any- information from a blog to put to- cently 13-year-old Ryan Halligan one, about anything: the school gether a personal profile of the committed suicide as a result of lunch, how to kill a spider, etc. author. School name, names of cyber bullying. Teens, especially The over four million bloggers friends, teachers, physical ad- when it comes to blogs, some- leave no conversational stone dresses, street names, town— times forget that anything posted unturned. Typically, a blog con- anything and everything can be on the Internet has an unintended tains links to other blogs used by the sexual predator. audience, and therefore, unin- The appeal of blogging to While the teen posts what s/he tended consequences Blogging: Breaking It Down • Blogs: Journals posted on the Internet. • Weblogs: Another name for blogs. • Blogs are maintained in chronological order by date of post. People who read the blog are usually welcome to post replies, their thoughts, etc. This makes most blogs interactive. • Blogging makes the writer feel like they are writing confidentially because they are behind a screen. However, the reality is that anyone online can read the blog. This can be dangerous. i-SAFE America Inc. Safe Blogging 5963 La Place Court Ste. 309 Carlsbad, CA 92008 Protecting Your Blog If you’re thinking of creating your own online blog, here are some tips you can follow to ensure your safety. 1. Password-protect your blog. Make sure that nobody knows your password other than your parents. 2. Do not include very personal and detailed information (places you hang out, malls, etc.) in your blog. 3. Do not complete a profile or include name, address, phone number, school, zip code, e-mail address, or screen name in your blog. This is exactly the kind of information a predator is looking for, so don't do it! 4. Do not release any personal information about anyone else you know ei- ther. Doing so would be just like telling a predator "I'm not interested in speak- ing with you, but my best friend Chelsea would be more than happy to." 5. Pretend that you are a predator. Read your writing and see if you can pick out details that lead to revealing personal info about you. If you come across anything objectionable, change it so it is less identifying to the unknown and potentially dangerous reader. 6. Do not include photos of yourself or others in your blog. 7. Do not leave your blog page open and your computer unattended. Someone could step in and write something as you. 8. Do not spread gossip or slander about your classmates. A Student’s Tips for Safer Blogging It is important to realize the great someone (usually a minor) who Predators love to put puzzles dangers that come along with blogs. meets an Internet “friend” in person, together. Each bit of personal infor- Unless you want everyone on the and then is hurt or, killed, by the mation gives the predator a piece to Internet to read about your personal stranger. your life’s puzzle. Keep in mind life, you want to keep your online that a little information leads to blog confidential. Keep in mind that “The predator has bigger answers for the predator. the Internet is very populated, and gained information Given enough pieces, they would be there are always going to be those able to see your entire life story — people, predators, who want to about his prey, and all from the information you have sneak into your personal life to gain often his source of unknowinglyfollowing tips in mind donated to them. information about you and cause Keep the trouble. information is—you as you go about creating your blog. Predators are on the Internet 24 hours a day, picking a target and simple measures guessed it—online Theselikely will, make acan, and most difference. trying to formulate a plan to capture blogs.” Have fun, and more importantly— their prey. You may wonder what I Stay safe on the Internet! If you aren’t careful, you could find mean by "capture." I'm sure you By Christopher yourself in a very uncomfortable have heard the news stories of A Student from Florida and possibly dangerous situation.
Pages to are hidden for
"Blogging"Please download to view full document