An email address is comprised of two parts: local and domain, separated by the “@” sign. Typically, the local name will indicate the name of a user – this tends to be the more professional approach. The domain will indicate their organization, company or Internet service provider. When composing an email, be sure you include relevant words in the subject line.
Email is known to be one of the most common method for spreading malware, like viruses and worms. Be aware that emails can be intercepted, and including sensitive information in an email, such as banking, may result in fraud. Do not open emails if you do not trust the source. Consider deleting any received email that is sent from unknown users. Consider using spam filters, and do not respond to emails, or open attachments, to messages you suspect to be spam.
Young people are more inclined to share personal information about themselves, as social media is all about “sharing” your day-to-day activities. It is suggested that adolescents should never publish anything they don’t want their teachers or parents to see.
An average of 10 new viruses are identified each day. Be aware of cyber-criminals, especially when using online banking. Creating strong passwords and clearing cookies (a way for websites to recognize you and keep track of your preferences), can help prevent fraud.
Some ways to avoid malware are to disconnect your computer from the Internet when it is not being used and set your browser to “disable scripts.”
While most social networks offer simple features for managing the privacy of personal data, carefully consider the material and photos you post online – remember that once you post something, you may never be able to completely delete it from the Internet.
Never post anything that may be offensive to others. If you experience hate speech or bullying, you should always reach out for help or report the user.
Mobile phones may be used as tracking devices. It is important to be aware of your geo-tracking setting on your mobile device. To avoid security risks, do not leave Bluetooth on if it is not being used.
Mobile bullying is of growing concern. People have commonly used mobile phones to record attacks and then post the images on the Internet to humiliate the victim. Mobile phone cameras and easy internet access capabilities can be a threat to privacy. Consider the pictures you post before publishing and make sure they will not breach the legal rights of others, or contribute to the act of bullying.
People are interested in blogs because of their originality and the outlet for self-expression. Each entry in a blog can be commented upon, which provides opportunities for discussion on a certain topic.
Be sure to respect copyright laws by not using other people’s blog designs or content without their permission.
The benefit and driving force for e-Democracy projects include the increasing availability and visibility of the Internet, and the opportunity for communication among large audiences. Public meetings that are available to watch online, E-petitioning and online voting are all ways to contribute your ideas and views. The goal is to make citizens more informed, so they have the knowledge to make empowered decisions.