Internet Safety Advice

Social media is becoming more of a phenomenon as each day passes. But as social media use increases, Internet safety can easily be forgotten. Even as teenagers we should be aware of the danger that comes with being online.

Even as teenagers we should be aware of the danger that comes with being online.

— Morgan McGrady

As seen in the popular MTV show Catfish, internet safety is frequently forgotten.

In 2012 the reality television show Catfish quickly took off and captivated viewers with a new view of the online world. Viewers quickly learn that there is more behind social media than posting statuses and photographs. Behind many online relationships is a person who may be a Catfish.

After two seasons of Catfish, Merriam-Webster defines a catfish as “a person who sets up a false personal profile on a social networking site for fraudulent or deceptive purposes.”

Each episode documents two people who began communicating through social media and/or chat rooms and begin to have a strong bond. Each episode begins with hosts Nev Shulman and Max Joseph as they meet an individual who is interested in meeting the person they have been communicating with over the Internet.

Since watching this show from the beginning I am amazed at each episode by the personal information that is given away. In many cases personal addresses, credit card numbers and other detailed information is shared. In some cases the person’s personal information is taken advantage of.

In season three, episode four, Shulman and Joseph help Lucille locate the up and coming music producer, Kidd Cole, whom she was communicating with. Lucille tells Shulman and Joseph she was quick to help Kidd Cole when he asked her to help him book appearances, and purchase car services. Using her personal credit card Lucille spent thousands of dollars thinking Kidd Cole would keep his promise of hiring her.

After locating Kidd Cole, Lucille learns the appearances she was booking, the car services she was purchasing was all a lie. Kidd Cole was not a music producer; he was a Catfish, who was taking advantage of her. After spending thousands of dollars and learning that Kid Cole was a scam she was shocked that she not only spent a lot of money but also was talking with a person who lied to her.

This episode features one of the many different stories of people being catfished. From this show I have realized that Internet safety should not be forgotten. The rules we have heard since we were in elementary school still apply.

Keeping your personal information private such as your phone number, address and password helps your private information stay private. Changing your passwords every two months give hackers less of a chance of getting into your account. Always keeping privacy settings on keeps people you do not know from seeing your activity.

There are hundreds of ways we are able to stay safe online.It is our decision while on the Internet and social media to be safe rather than sorry.