Online Safety

Introduction

From time to time users and parents of users will contact us asking about online safety on our sites. We have put this document together to discuss what we do to provide a safe environment as well as some information and links to help users protect themselves.

Monitoring

We monitor specific words that are commonly used by online predators and have automatic banning in place to remove those users. Additionally, we monitor uploaded photos for questionable content and ban users accordingly.

Blocking & Chat Ignore

Users can easily block a user that they feel is undesirable with a link located on the offending user’s profile. Chat has a similar function that allows users to flag a user as ignored. Both functions alert moderators so that the “problem users” can be monitored and potentially removed from the site.

Reporting Inappropriate Content & Messages

No system is 100% perfect so to supplement our automated monitoring and filtering we also provide report links on user profiles and messages. These links can be used to easily report inappropriate content to our moderators for further investigation.

Don’t Post Personal Information

We strongly discourage posting any personally identifable information. This includes your home address, phone number, Social Security Number or anything else you would prefer to remain private. If you do choose to post information of that nature you do so at your own risk.

Avoid Malware

Scam artists try to trick people into clicking links that will download malware and spyware onto their computers. We strongly discourage following links or downloading files from unreputable sources. When clicking links on our site that will take you off of our site, we present you with a warning to remind you of this risk. Third-party services (like Skype) may not give such a warning but please be aware that the risk is the same.

To help prevent damage to your computer, we recommend using an anti-virus as well as keeping it up to date.

Use Your Better Judgement

Be careful who you trust online and remember that online friends are still strangers. People online, no matter how long you’ve been talking to them or how nice they are to you may not be who they say they are. Meeting people that you have met online can be very dangerous, especially for minors.

More dangerous than meeting users in real life is providing anyone with sexually explicity images of yourself (a/k/a sexting) as well as engaging in sexually explicit conversations (a/k/a cyber sex). Any photo you provide to a user or conversation you may have with them can be used against you and posted on other websites without your permission.

Further Reading

OnGuardOnline.gov is the federal government’s website to help you be safe, secure and responsible online.

Carly Ryan Foundation is an organization created after the tragic death of Carly Ryan to promote internet safety awareness.