<p> Whenever her teenage daughter wants to use social-media sites, C. Lee Reed&#39;s philosophy is that it&#39;s okay to fudge the truth a little, in return for greater security.</p> <p> &quot;For instance, she uses her name and middle name, or a variation of it, instead of her full name. She lists her location as the largest city in our vicinity instead of our small town,&quot; said Reed, a central Florida-based writer and author of the blog Helicopter Mom and Just Plane Dad.</p> <p> &quot;We do not <a href="">add her to our accounts</a>, thus exposing the relationship and identifying her. She is prohibited from using her school name,&quot; Reed said. &quot;Since this leaves other fun stuff to discuss, like place of birth, favorite hobby, etc., she doesn&#39;t mind.&quot;</p> <p> Reed understands that high school kids are going to use <a href="">social media</a>, whether their parents approve or not. They are going to play interactive games online. They are going to chat with people they don&#39;t know well, and they&#39;re going to visit questionable websites.</p> <p> [<a href="">How Online Dishonesty Protects Your Identity</a>]</p> <p> While there are tricks to monitoring all of your teenager&#39;s online activities, there is no better time than the present to make sure he or she understands the basics of computer security.</p> <p> Here are 10 things that every high-school kid should know.</p>

Nothing you do online is ever truly private

<p> Everything you do online is tracked and stored somewhere, and that&#39;s only part of the problem. Even emails and <a href="">instant messages</a> aren&#39;t necessarily just between you and the recipient.</p> <p> If you don&#39;t want your teacher to know that you cheated on your test or you don&#39;t want a future employer to know your party habits, don&#39;t share the gory details online.</p> <p> [<a href="">11 Facebook Privacy Steps to Take Now</a>]</p>

Make sure you use privacy settings

<p> Salt Lake City-based technology entrepreneur Sterling Morris recommends a simple test to adjust your social-media privacy settings.</p> <p> Get together with a friend and remove him or her as a connection on your social-media outlets. Then sign on to his or her account &mdash; and visit <a href="">your own accounts</a>.</p> <p> Whatever you can now see on your own accounts is available to the whole world. Think about what you want your grandmother, your teachers and your gym coach to see.</p> <p> Make the necessary privacy adjustments, remove unwanted content to clean up your public profile &mdash; and don&#39;t forget to &quot;friend&quot; your friend again.</p> <p> [<a href="">Facebook Security Quiz: Are You Safe?</a>]</p>

Don&#39;t announce your location to the world

<p> Be aware that geotagging on services such as Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook lets others <a href="">know exactly where you are</a> when you post or check in, Morris said.</p> <p> There are inherent risks in making such posts if they&#39;re from locations where you could be in physical danger. Furthermore, if others can tell where you are, they also know where you&#39;re not, such as at home or in class.</p> <p> This warning also applies to <a href="">photos you take with your smartphone</a>. Make sure all geotagging features are turned off.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Set Your Smartphone&#39;s Social Privacy Settings</a>]</p>

Don&#39;t announce your birthday or other unique personal information

<p> The more personal information you put into your social media profiles, the more at risk you are of having your identity stolen.</p> <p> Identity thieves like to target children and teens because minors are likely to have unblemished credit records. Publicizing your year of birth, or even <a href="">the month and the day</a>, gives the bad guys one more thing to use to impersonate you.</p> <p> [<a href="">That&#39;s an Order! 10 Facebook Privacy Tips from the Marines</a>]</p>

Be careful downloading free games for your PC

<p> Free downloads, legal and otherwise, are often <a href="">full of malware</a> and fake anti-virus software.</p> <p> Never download anything without making sure your <a href="" target="_blank">security software</a> is up-to-date, and run each download package through an anti-virus scan before opening it.</p> <p> If you don&#39;t have security software on your computer, get it immediately.</p> <p> [<a href="">Five Signs Your PC Is Infected</a>]</p>

Think before you click

<p> Cybercriminals are experts at social engineering and scams. They plant malware in videos featuring pop stars such as <a href="">Justin Bieber</a> and <a href="">Katy Perry</a>, knowing that you are more interested in the video than in making sure the site is legitimate.</p> <p> Before you click on any link, whether it&#39;s in an email or a search engine, verify that the link is legitimate by scrolling your cursor over it.</p> <p> If the link your cursor shows is different from the one you see in the message, it is likely malicious.</p> <p> [<a href="">8 Security Basics the Experts Want You to Know</a>]</p>

Use good, strong passwords

<p> Your password is one of the most important elements in protecting your information from being accessed by someone else. Make it something no one can figure out easily.</p> <p> Your pet&#39;s name and the nickname of your favorite sports team <a href="">aren&#39;t strong passwords</a>. Instead, use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols that you can remember.</p> <p> You should have different passwords for your school email account, your Facebook account and anything else you use &mdash; especially if you use computers in school or at the library.</p> <p> But don&#39;t write the passwords down where someone else could easily see them.</p> <p> [<a href="">How to Create and Remember Super-Secure Passwords</a>]</p>

Always log off websites when you&#39;re done

<p> Logging off is especially important on public computers, but it&#39;s a good habit to get into even when you&#39;re using your personal computer.</p> <p> Don&#39;t let websites <a href="">&quot;remember&quot; your password</a>, either. You don&#39;t want to leave any doors open for anyone else to access your account &mdash; even your friends.</p> <p> [<a href="" target="_blank">10 Best Password Management Products</a>]</p>

Don&#39;t trust strangers

<p> Mom&#39;s advice about not talking to strangers should extend to the Internet.</p> <p> Even if you think you are in a &quot;safe&quot; place, such as an age-appropriate chat room, <a href="">sex offenders</a>, thieves and other bad guys can still lie and sneak in.</p> <p> If someone is making you uncomfortable online, stop the communication and tell an adult.</p> <p> There are a lot of good people who use the Internet and are just who they claim to be, but there are also an awful lot of creeps who hide behind the anonymity the Internet offers.</p> <p> [<a href="">Look Who&#39;s Stalking: 10 Creepiest Apps for Phones, Facebook</a>]</p>

Remember that your smartphone and tablet are computers, too

<p> It's easy to forget that the phone attached to your palm is more than a texting device and a camera, but also a <a href="">very powerful computer</a>.</p> <p> The same rules for using a desktop safely apply to smartphones and tablets as well.</p> <p> Download trusted security apps that can scan downloads, locate lost devices and wipe the data off your phone if it&#39;s stolen or lost for good.</p> <p> Always lock the phone with a password so your friends (and frenemies) can&#39;t decide to goof around with it while you aren&#39;t looking.</p> <p> [<a href="">How Friends Undermine Your Social-Media Privacy</a>]</p>

10 Computer-Security Essentials for High School Students