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Safer Internet Day: Nudes are never a good idea, & 5 other tips for your family

Protect your online reputation - there are far-reaching consequences if you don't.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Under the theme "Together For A Better Internet", the world is commemorating Safer Internet Day. Some internet safety tips, such as not giving out your password or only sharing your contact details with people you trust, might sound obvious, yet people do it so often.

EWN has put together some tips that might help you and your family have a healthy relationship with the internet.

1. Remember the billboard rule: According to the Digital Law Company's blog, you should never post anything on the internet that you wouldn't want on an advert billboard on the highway with your face on it. The internet is a big place, and once something goes out, it's impossible to retrieve it again, unless you have millions of rands to spend on lawyers hounding publications every 10 minutes to remove the content.

2. Protect your reputation: The above also applies to your actions - if you're going to do something that will become newsworthy, like being racist to someone or hitting people, chances are you will be recorded and people will publish the incident on social media, or send it to a digital newsroom where it will likely live forever. No prizes for guessing what happens when you begin looking for jobs and your potential managers decide to google you.

3. Keep your accounts as private as you can: While this doesn't stop major companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter from access to your information, it does help contain who knows what about you. It allows you greater control over who has access to your locations (which you should try to keep off anyway, but more about that later), what you're doing, and who you're with.

4. Remember to respect the privacy of minors: Taking pictures with your cute little cousins or a friend's newborn is always a lovely feeling. But make sure you get permission to post them on the internet from their parents or guardians. Times have moved on from taking physical photos of loved ones, and you really have no idea who is lurking on the internet, especially if you don't have private accounts. Remember, just because your account is private doesn't mean you can post it on the internet - express permission is always the sound thing to do.

5. Talk to your family about the internet: According to UK Internet Safer Centre, talking to your children regularly about technology is vital. It gives them space and trust to tell you about any suspicious activity they're experiencing that you might not be aware of.

6. Nudes are never a good idea: Do not send anyone nudes. Do not request nudes from anyone. Distributing nudes or sex videos over the internet is against the law. This includes retweeting or liking them on Twitter, or sharing it on Instagram. You also can't trust anyone with your nudes. Revenge porn is real, and while it is a criminal offence, it's better not to put yourself in that situation.

You can read more on tips for children from three to seven years old, seven to 11, and 11- and 18-year-olds here.