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Online Safety Tips

How to keep safe and enjoy Xt3

Think very carefully about your personal privacy and safety

As Xt3 is about sharing information and ideas with other people, individuals or organisations that you interact with using the website may approach you to organise offline meetings or activities. You must satisfy yourself as to the identity \of any persons or organisations that you agree to meet offline and that their intentions for meeting with you are bona fide. We do not guarantee or warrant in any way that persons who you interact with on the website are who they claim to be. For example, just because a user says that they are a priest, brother, sister, bishop or archbishop does not necessarily mean that they are.

Make sure you always meet offline safely

REMEMBER:

  • WE DO NOT WARRANT AND THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT PEOPLE ARE WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE
  • NEVER MEET PEOPLE ALONE - AND ALWAYS TELL A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER WHERE YOU ARE GOING
  • IF YOU ARE UNDER 18 NEVER ARRANGE TO MEET ANYONE OFFLINE UNLESS YOU HAVE GOT THE PERMISSION OF YOUR PARENTS OR GUARDIAN EVEN IF YOU INTEND TO GO WITH OTHER PEOPLE TO THE MEETING.

Make sure you use this website safely

YOU SHOULD ALSO BE AWARE THAT INFORMATION THAT YOU POST ON THIS OR ANY OTHER SITE MAY AFFECT YOUR OFFLINE LIFE, FOR EXAMPLE YOU MUST NOT POST PERSONAL INFORMATION DETAILS INCLUDING YOUR ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER, YEAR OF BIRTH OR ANY OTHER INFORMATION WHICH MIGHT POSE A RISK TO YOUR PERSONAL PRIVACY OR EVEN SAFETY.

More information safety and privacy issues can be found at:

Safety tips on social networking: http://www.connectsafely.org/Table/Safety-Tips/

Privacy survival guide: http://www.privacy.gov.au/topics/youth/index.html

Tips on how to avoid scams: http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/693900  

We truly hope that everyone on Xt3 will be decent and authentic people. However we recognize that there are people out there who are not so nice and even unscrupulous and that there is the possibility that some of them may visit the site. For this reason, it is very important that you do all that you can to keep safe while on the site. Below are a few tips on how to do this.

Be aware of what others can see about you

... and think carefully about what you post

Your Profile

Anyone can see your profile picture, your site name and your location as well as anything you have chosen to include in your ‘public statement'. So, while you might want to state enough to give people an idea of your character (or at very least identify you as someone they may know) don't state anything that you wouldn't want strangers to know.

The rest of your profile can only be viewed by people that you accept as a friend - as well as by Xt3. (Please refer to ‘What can my friends see?'). So, be careful about who you accept as friends.

You can make changes to your profile at any time by selecting "Home" and then "Edit Profile " from the Menu Bar at the top of the screen.

 Photos

Any photos you post can be seen by all of your friends, and may even be sent directly to your friends. Be careful about the photos or images that you post and the image they may create of you: what might seem to you to be an innocent picture of you and your friends on the beach in swimwear might be provocative to someone else. Also, be considerate of the other people in your photos - do they want to have their photos seen by all your friends on the internet?

Discussions you have in Groups

If you join a ‘public open group' this means that membership is open to everyone, which also means that anyone who wants to can read your posts. Even if you join a ‘public closed' or ‘private' group, there will usually be people in the group who aren't among your chosen ‘friends'.

As a general rule, don't give away personal information that may leave you vulnerable to the occasional unscrupulous person who may visit the site and be especially careful not to give away information about where you live and your personal circumstances  - particularly if you live alone.

What can your friends see?

Its great to make friends on Xt3, however its important to be aware that your friends can see everything on your profile except your Date of Birth and e-mail which is only available to Xt3 Administrators.

What to do if you receive any communications that are offensive or upsetting

There are several ways in which others can communicate with you on the Xt3 site: they can post messages and photos and video clips on your wall; they can send you a private message and they can engage in discussions with you in groups that you are a member of.

If ever you receive a disturbing communication you can report it to Xt3. To do this use the ‘Report' symbol near the person's name - which is a red circle with an exclamation mark in it. You can then select the appropriate alert and explain in the comments box what it is you find offensive or upsetting. Xt3 (with the help of the volunteers) will then take any action necessary - which ranges from giving the member a warning to removing them from the site and, in extreme cases, reporting the member to the relevant authorities.

In addition, if the person is someone you have accepted as a friend, you can remove them as your friend. To do this, select them from your list of friends: at the top of their Profile page you will see the person icon (next to the Report icon), which if you hover over it will say "Remove friend". If you select this you will then see a message telling you that the person "is no longer in your friends list".

If your privacy settings allow anyone to private message you, you can either change your privacy settings or you may chose to just block that person from sending you private messages. (See "Managing Your Privacy Settings" for an explanation of how to do this).

Meeting someone offline

It's great making friends with people and we appreciate that you might like to meet them face to face. We advise that all messages should be done through private messaging for added protection. This is safer than giving your personal email or mobile telephone number. Although most people are genuine, there are some people who are of a less noble disposition.

We advise all members when meeting with people offline for the first time to meet in a public place, preferably go with a good friend or tell someone where you are meeting.

Beware of scams

There are many kinds of scams. In general, try to obtain money by means of deception by means of methods such as fake personalities, fake photos, fake template letters, non-existent addresses and phone numbers, forged documents.

Scams succeed because of two things.

Firstly, a scam looks like the real thing. It appears to meet your need or desire. To find out that it is in fact a scam, you must first make the effort to check it properly. You need to ask questions and think carefully before you decide what to do.

Secondly, scammers manipulate you by ‘pushing your buttons' to produce the automatic response they want. To stop scammers manipulating you into their traps, it can be useful to know how to prevent the automatic response they expect.

Scammers are not just after your money. Scams can also be designed to steal your personal details. The types of personal information that scammers might ask for include credit card and bank account details, passport details and name and address details.

This is known as ‘identity theft'. Many scams, such as card skimming, phishing, lottery scams, money transfer scams and work from home scams could not only cost you money, but could also result in the misuse of your details to commit ‘identity fraud'.

Golden rules

  • If it looks too good to be true-it probably is.
  • Always get independent advice if an offer involves significant money, time or commitment.
  • Do not agree to offers or deals straight away: tell the person that you are not interested or that you want to get some independent advice before making a decision.
  • Never send money, or give credit card or online account details to anyone you do not know and trust.
  • Check your bank account and credit card statements when you get them. If you see a transaction you cannot explain, report it to your credit union or bank.
  • Keep your credit card and ATM cards safe. Do not share your personal identity number (PIN) with anyone.
  • Never send money to anyone that you are not totally sure about.
  • Do not send any money or pay any fee to claim a prize or lottery winnings.
  • Money laundering is a criminal offence: do not agree to transfer money for someone else.
  • Do not open suspicious or unsolicited emails (spam): delete them.
  • Do not click on any links in a spam email, or open any files attached to them.
  • Never call a telephone number that you see in a spam email.
  • Never reply to a spam email (even to unsubscribe).