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What LGBTQ Communities Should Know About Online Safety

Whether you’re a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or straight person, your online behaviour can tell a lot about you – possibly more than you’d like to share. One of the most significant worries for the LGBTQ community is the vast amount of information available on different social media sites that might readily reveal their sexual orientation or gender identity. As a result, your online behaviour – from your social media connections to the mobile apps you download –can lead to real-life unintended consequences.
 
OWN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
If you are not open about your LGBT identity, scrutinize every click with great care, from Likes to posting photos and retweeting.
• Review privacy settings. 
• Enable instant notifications. Activate text or email notifications so you can decide which posts and photos involving you are posted publicly.
• Search for yourself. Perform routine Internet searches of your name and any words with which you wouldn’t want to be associated. If you find something you don’t like contact the website administrator immediately to have that content altered or removed.
 
PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
Studies indicate that LGBT communities rely on the Internet and mobile apps for dating in significantly higher proportions than heterosexual singles, but sharing too much information can backfire.
• Think before you act. Be wary of communications that push you for immediate action or ask for personal information. 
• Once posted, always posted. Think twice before sending or posting pictures or comments you would not want your parents, co-workers or other friends to see.
• Think before you app. Before you download apps, review privacy policies and understand what data – location, access to your social networks, photos, etc. – is accessed and shared.
 
BE A GOOD CYBER CITIZEN
Practicing good online habits benefits the global digital community.
• Post only about others as you would have them post about you. If you or someone you know is a victim of online harassment, ignore the abuser, but not the abuse. Tell a trusted adult, block the abuser and maintain digital and hard copy records of online activity to give authorities, if contacted.
• Safer for me, more secure for all. What you do online can affect everyone. Your responsible behaviour online helps keep others safe, too.
 
If you own a business and need help with online security book a complimentary business systems assessment today!