The internet is an important resource; it can help you communicate with friends and family, save money, plan a trip, and is useful in many other ways. With that said, the internet is loaded with incorrect information and individuals who can cause others harm; therefore, navigating the internet in a safe and efficient manner is an important skill.
Here are some tips on how to find reliable information quickly and safely:
1. Narrow your search results
If you are searching for a specific, person, place or title, put it in quotations. For example, “Cherry, MN” gives you less results than Cherry Mn. Putting a proper name in quotation marks means the words must be in that order right next to each other on the page. One important thing to keep in mind is to check your spelling as search engines search for it exactly how it is written. Another way to limit the results you receive is to use the advanced search options provided by the search engine.
2. Evaluate web sites
Do a quick check-over to see who wrote the information, who is paying for the web site, and when it was last updated. You may not find answers to all of these questions, but a check-over of the “About Us” section on a website can be very useful. For example, many websites give the goal of their webpage on their “About Us” page.
It is also vital to read what is on the page and compare it to other sources. Anyone can publish anything to the internet.
3. Protect your digital footprint & your child’s digital shadow.
A digital footprint is your presence on the internet. A digital shadow is the information left behind about you, by you or someone else. Be aware of who has access to your social media accounts (Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc.). Use the privacy settings on your accounts to limit access. The most important tip is to think before you post.
Digital footprints and digital shadows do not disappear. Anything online can be printed, saved, or fowarded on to someone else before you have the chance to delete it. Be very careful of what information you share as it could come back to haunt you or your child. Employers, colleges, and scholarship foundations are all known to search for a person’s digital footprint before making a selection. A digital footprint and/or digital shadow can make a first impression long before you even meet the other person.
Forms of Social Media
Below are some of the popular forms of social media we will discuss in our meeting.