3. Be selective about who you interact with online and what information you make public.

The risks are relatively low when you stick with people you know—your family and friends. Going into public chat rooms or opening your blog up to the general public, for example, significantly increases your risk. Think before you post online any information that can personally identify you, a family member, or friend in public place. (That means in a public blog, in online white pages, on job hunt sites, or in any other place anyone on the Internet can see.) Sensitive information includes birth date, gender, town, e-mail address, school name—even photos. This information can be used to help someone find you or steal your identity.

Linda is a former employee of Microsoft, founder of LOOKBOTHWAYS Inc. and an online safety expert. This checklist is excerpted from her award-winning book Look Both Ways: Help Protect Your Family on the Internet.  


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