Clara's Rules

Internetland can be quite as scary as Zombieland. Think you can handle it?
These are a few survival rules you might want to have a look at:
1.) Measure your clicks.
Don't just click for the fun of it. You might land up in a completely different place you were expecting and scary messages can come up on your screen. For instance, if you use the Internet be sure to use a phishing and adware protection. People who are not informed about the risks of the Internet may get viruses by clicking on popups.. these insidious icons often take the shape of an ad, but sometimes they come up as links or normal downloading signs. So beware!

2.) Don't talk to strangers
Internet connecting people. Sure. It's the best way to connect the whole world in a giant web. Reaching people far far away in just a matter of seconds thanks to these electronic channels. But you can also reach whoever you want, people you don't even know. And the other way around. It is important not to be naive on the Internet. Children especially run a risk. Internet is the easiest way for a sexual predator to operate. There have been so many examples of that these past years. Little girls speaking to grown men on their blog until they get persuaded to run away with the same grown man and go missing. Reality always catches up.

3.) Don't give out private information
Well of course you can…in a certain way. But you will have to be a careful user. When I'm talking about private information, this means credit card information, physical adress, phone number. Many websites ask for this. Always make sure that the website in question has a https:// like adress. A little lock should appear on the right bottom corner when the transaction is being made on websites such as Ebay or Amazon. And even on the most secure websites you always have to be careful. Ebay has already been hijacked by cybercriminals. And giving out your email on random sites is sure to bring you a lot of spams. I personnally have an email adress specifically designed for the spams in question. Careful!

4.) Control your image
This is one of the new rules on the Internet. We have never been this close to one another since social networks appeared. Facebook, Myspace, Twitter. All these platforms enable us to surveil everything our partner is doing at the minute. But as a great tool it also has a major drawback: extreme transparency can damage a reputation. You don't necessarily control the photos published with your face on them. A drunken night can make you lose a job, show your boss or your boyfriend that you were lying about the place you were in last night or whichever.. Hugh Grant had to justify himself after facebook pictures were published of him with teen girls.
On facebook and other social networks, stay alert of what image

5.) Adapt yourself to new standards of the web
Talking about social networks, new ones such as twitter bring new kinds of social interactivity. I can post a "tweet" every minute if I want, as long as there is an update in my life. Facebook statuses are more a day to day thing. New forms are coming on the Internet, so if you want to be "aware", go with the flow! Original is only original for minutes before being plain "old". Inform youself about the new things on the Internet because this place is sprouting with novelty! And if you don't follow the buzz, you'll just get lost along the way.

6.) Everyone is anonymous
On the Internet you don't have to be Mr or Mrs X like you are in real life. Internet gives you the possibility to change your identity. Get wild pseudonyms, create an avatar of yourself just like the sims and make it interract with other people. You can be disguised as a female when you're a man, act like a child when you're in fact a cop. Your blog can be a tribune for your thoughts and opinions, no matter how hardcore they are. You're pretty much free to invent yourself a "second life"!

7.) Yet everything you say may be held against you
Of course, it may seem like we are free of our speech and that we can be anyone we want. But don't forget that if people want to know who's hiding behind the screen, taking a shot at an underage girl or boy, insulting and harassing people in a cyberacrime kind of way, they can and will track you down. The FBI can easily retrace your position thanks to your IP number. This explains how people end up in tribunals for having downloaded too many songs. In other words, you can express yourself as much as you want, you will have no space restriction for that but
you also have the right to remain silent!!!

8.) Internet can do anything
You'll find Internet is one of the most useful tools there is. So don't be afraid to seize every precious opportunity offered to you. don't just look to traditionnal ways to find a job, go on the Internet and get that job! Get yourself a mate too, on the Internet you know you're looking for the same thing. Let the Internet magic operate. Write your book if you want. Internet breaks professional and social barriers.

9.) Internet was made by you and for you, don't be afraid to innovate.
Remember the Time's cover: You. you are the main actor of this past year. Thanks to the Internet. Because now, we are going towards a down to up trend. The internet user is a media actor. Just look on Youtube, you can create your own channel. The least expensive tv channel ever just got created on the net too. So don't be afraid to innovate because Internet makes it easy. You're the man!

10.) Enjoy the ride!
All in all, the ride on the Internet rollercoaster can be really fun, as long as you're a careful user. You're Ulysses navigating among millions of documents to find your way. Create your own little world, with your favorites, mails, facebook or myspace accounts. don't be afraid to master your Internet.

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