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October 2007 Archives

October 4, 2007

The things you find on You Tube!

You could say that I am a You Tube junkie! I love checking out what's new or even most viewed on the site. As the self-proclaimed leader in online video sharing, anyone can instantly become a You Tube Star (caution: posting anything and everything may not be appropriate)!

I recently came across a video that I knew I had to share with you. Click below and enjoy!

Everything, by Lifehouse

October 9, 2007

Are you on Facebook?


If you haven’t heard, Facebook has become the new MySpace! With more than 47 million users, according to a recent CNN report, Facebook has become one of the most visited sites online within the U.S. Not really surprising based on the fact that we tend to check our profile multiple times a day as well as persuade our friends to join.

But as the social utility continues to expand in numbers and in its platform applications, several concerns for our safety are re-surfacing. I know online safety seems like ‘old news’ or something you may remember your parents chatting about some time ago - but the dangers of online predators are very real and serious.

Just this past week, Facebook announced its commitment to improve its safety features to better protect users from online predators. Facebook’s own chief privacy officer openly admitted that the site’s commitment to safety had ‘slipped’, but said the company is getting ‘back on track’. But is it enough? Is it enough for them to simply post a warning of potential dangers or even to make their complaint process (reporting people who post inappropriate content) more efficient?

Considering Facebook is clearly NOT focusing on the safety of its users (especially those of you in high school), it begs the questions - how do you protect yourself? Here are a few tips we hope you’ll take to heart and apply after reading this blog (these also do apply to your MySpace, Xanga and Yahoo pages as well!):

Only join your high school network!
If you opt to join your city network, you are essentially allowing everyone within that network to view your profile. Including those pictures of you at the pool this past summer, your contact info, and anything else you decide to post. By remaining within your high school or college network, you are only allowing your fellow students to view your page and updates – and not those creepy predators (can we say EEW)!

Use the privacy settings - that’s what it’s for!
Only allow your friends to view your status and profile. Because the Internet is far reaching, take the steps to limit the information you make available about yourself. Not to scare you, but you truly never know who is watching or rather viewing your profile.

Be wise about the photos & videos you post.
Just because you take a picture of someone or something, doesn’t mean it must be uploaded to your profile; everything is not suitable for the web. Anything you post, has the ability to become a viral piece of info; simply meaning that it can be copied, saved and passed along by anyone online. Of course, someone must first have access to the information (which there are multiple ways to do), but even after you delete the photos you took at the beach or of a friend’s party last Friday night, those photos can still be posted or surfacing somewhere else. Ask yourself one question before you post: do I want my parents, teachers, or even my youth pastor to see this? I know it’s old school, but seriously think before you upload and share!

Be wall wise
Never-ever display your phone number, address, email or any other personal info on someone’s wall. If you’ve noticed, anything you write pops-up on the news feed for all your friends to see. Do you really want to broadcast your cell number or email to hackers, predators and who know else?

Let us know your thoughts! How are you protecting yourself online?