Internet safety

TO ANYONE CHATTING TO SOMEONE ONLINE

If you are considering meeting up with someone online use this trick to identify who really are who they claim to be:

1. Ask them to Skype
2. If they refuse or can’t for some reason ask for a current selfie
3. If they also refuse or can’t do not meet up with them
4. If they provide one ask them to send another with them holding 3 fingers up
5. If they refuse read step 3
6. If they provide a selfie where they show 3 fingers they are probably for real

(If you’re still unconvinced try again with them drawing something in their hand)

I SAY THIS FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY
please spread this message as more and more young people are lured out into situations where they get kidnapped because they weren’t 100% sure the person they were talking to was real.

Protecting yourself against being doxxed

Seeing as how this site is full of immature children who think disagreeing with someone is grounds for endangering their life, I thought I’d post my basic list of ways to stay safe and relatively anonymous on the internet.

  • Don’t post anything that could be searched.

This is especially true if you have a public Facebook account. If you reuse pictures from a public account, a reverse image search could easily link back to it. Maintain your personal friendships on tumblr so they don’t leak too much information about you either.

  • Have an email address that you use only for social media.

It’s very easy to find someone’s email address from their tumblr page. In the event that it gets posted, you won’t have to worry about your personal account being flooded with spam.

  • Protect your IP address

Tumblr has never been safe when it comes to IP addresses. A lot of users are college students and a reverse DNS lookup could easily reveal the name you use to log into your school’s network. For a lot of schools, this is at least part of your real name. You can mask your IP address by using a good proxy or VPN. I don’t recommend using the free services on the internet, as some of these can contain viruses. I’ve used Tor Browser since I found out how insecure my school’s connection is. It’s a bit slower than Chrome or Firefox but still faster than IE.

  • Remember that no amount of anonymizers will protect you from your own carelessness.

Linking to your Instagram account and posting there with GPS on could reveal your address, linking to your Skype could reveal your IP address, and personal grudges could reveal everything about you.

  • Remember that doxxing others for having unpopular opinions doesn’t make you a hero. It makes you a childish piece of shit.

If you see a dox in progress, ignore it. Don’t help it along, don’t reblog it, and don’t give the poster any attention. Edit: A lot of people are commenting about how you should report the dox in progress rather than ignore it, and I think that is a very good point.

if I’m being completely honest, the person I’m most interested in hearing tomorrow about internet safety is phil. he doesn’t express his opinions on these types of things often (if at all), and I know it’s not because he doesn’t have any. he also doesn’t share too much about himself (at least in detail), especially when it pertains to topics like this, and I’m curious to see if he’d be willing to (obviously, he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t want). 

phil is very wise, insightful, and well-spoken, and I would love to know what actually goes on in that amazing head of his (not just what he put in his brain tour video).

Ideological predators

Content note: This post is about adults exploiting teenagers on the internet for validation. It’s about the ideological form; not the sexual form, but a lot of the underlying logic is similar. This is likely to be a difficult post for anyone who has an emotional connection to this issue.

Some some predators use vulnerable people as validation objects to make their  flawed ideologies feel true. This can happen between people of any age, but it’s particularly common for adult predators to do this to teenage victims they meet online. Adults with bad ideas manipulate teenagers into praising them. They offer false respect to teenagers who are starved for respectful adult attention. They make teenagers depend on them emotionally in completely inappropriate ways. Then they lash out when the teenagers start to notice flaws in their ideas. Teenagers can get hurt very, very badly by this.

From a teenage perspective, relationships with ideological predators can feel really good at first before the predator starts lashing out. As a teenager, you’re often at the beginning of noticing that there’s a lot wrong with the world, and that you and others have the power to make it much better. But seeing yourself as powerful enough to change the world isn’t the same as knowing how to do it. Changing the world is hard work that requires skills that are difficult to acquire. It also requires connections with others doing the same work, which can be really hard to build for teenagers without much control over their lives. And teenagers who want to make the world better are often surrounded by adults who think their desire to do so is cute, and certainly not something to take seriously. (And who may not be taking the teenager seriously on any level). That’s degrading, and very, very hard to cope with.

And then a predator shows up online. At first, they’re this really interesting adult who at first seems to take you much more seriously than anyone else does. Their ideas seem amazing, and they seem to be opening all kinds of possibilities for making the world better. They’re willing to spend endless hours talking to you. They listen to you when you are sad and lonely, and they tell you that you’re amazing and brilliant and that you deserve so much more respect than anyone is giving you. It feels really good to be exposed to an exciting new idea, and it feels even better when it’s coming in the form of conversations with an apparently experienced person you respect. And, support from an experienced person who really does respect you is an amazing thing. Sometimes teenagers get the real form of this online. And sometimes, a predator fakes respect in ways that end very, very poorly.

An emotional relationship with a predator falls apart at some point, because their ideas aren’t actually very good, and their respect for you wasn’t real. It turns out, they weren’t listening to you, they were using you as a mirror. They didn’t want respect and conversation, they wanted you to admire them. When you start noticing flaws in their bad ideas, you stop being useful as a mirror, and they stop wanting to support you. All the vulnerabilities you shared with them turn into weapons they wield against you. It’s excruciating, and it can be very, very hard to recover from.

Teenagers deserve to have adults in their lives who respect them and spend time talking to them about the world. Ideally, this should happen both on and offline. Ideological predators who want validation seek out teenagers who aren’t getting real respect from adults, and seduce them with fake respect. This shouldn’t happen to anyone, ever, but it’s unfortunately really common. (It’s not just teenagers this happens to, but teenagers are often particularly vulnerable because teenagers are often both very isolated and inexperienced with evaluating the merits of ideologies, political views, and effective approaches to activism.)

One of the most important red flags for ideological exploitation is: Do they respect your right to consider other perspectives, or do they want you to believe everything they say without question? 

Nobody is right about everything; it is never reasonable for someone to want you to believe their ideas without question. You have the right to think for yourself. It is never ok for someone to be mean to you for asking questions or for reading about other perspectives. (Even if they’re right and the other perspective you’re reading is a dangerously bad idea that has hurt them personally.) No one has to be willing to talk to you about everything; they do need to respect your right to think for yourself. If someone is trying to persuade you to agree with them, they should expect that you will want to think about it and ask questions. That’s how conversations work when you are explaining something.

No one is the boss of your reading or your other media consumption. You get to decide what you want to read (and what you don’t want to read, and you don’t have to justify your reading choices to anyone. It’s a red flag if an adult tries to monitor your reading or aggressively tells you not to read people they disagree with. Or if they try to dictate who you are and aren’t allowed to talk to.
It’s also a bad sign if they refuse to explain to you why they disagree with a particular position, especially if they’re encouraging you to see them as a mentor. “Why do you think that?” and “What’s wrong with that?” or “Why is that idea harmful?” or “Why is this important?” are reasonable questions, and it’s not ok if they lash out at you for sincerely wanting to know.

(Even if they regularly get asked that question insincerely as a form of harassment, they still shouldn’t lash out at you. You aren’t doing that. You’re asking a question because you want to understand. It’s not your fault that mean people do something superficially similar. If they’ve spent hours and hours talking to you and saying how insightful you are, then they know you well enough to trust your sincerity. It’s not ok if everything they know about you suddenly flies out the window when you ask an uncomfortable question. Also, if they’re presenting themselves as a mentor figure and want you to trust them in that role, then it *is* their job to educate you, and part of educating people is answering their sincere questions respectfully.)

Which is related to another sign to watch out for — trustworthy people with good ideas are able to disagree with others respectfully. If someone is only willing to talk about ideas they agree with and ideas they have withering contempt for, that’s a really bad sign. Reasonable people have some positions they disagree with respectfully, and they also know that people can mistakenly be attracted to bad ideas for good reasons. No one has to be willing to respect all ideas or treat all positions as honorable; everyone has to be able to tolerate *some* disagreement respectfully. Reasonable people know that they’re not right about everything, and that sometimes they will find that people they initially disagreed with had a point.

If they can’t tolerate disagreement with anyone else, what they’re feeling for you is probably not real respect. They’re probably using you as a mirror; expecting you to reflect everything they say back to them, using your sincerity and enthusiasm to make it sound true and important. But you’re not a mirror; you’re a person. Even if everything they’re saying to you right now sounds amazingly true; eventually you will disagree with them about something you both care about. (No one is right 100% of the time, and it is normal for people who care about things to have some degree of disagreement.) Their talk about how insightful and wonderful you are will very, very likely melt away when you stop agreeing with them about everything. If they could tolerate disagreement, they’d be tolerating it from other people too.

Tl;dr Some adult predators use teenagers as ideological validation objects. They offer false respect to teenagers who are hungry for genuine respect from adults. The teenage victims are expected to become mirrors, enthusiastically reflecting back whatever the adult says, making it sound true and wise. Inevitably, eventually teenagers figure out that the adult isn’t 100% right about everything, and they start questioning their ideology. The adult predator then lashes out, and withdraws all of their false respect, leaving the teenager they have isolated to pick up the pieces. This is a horrible an inexcusable thing to do to someone. People have the right to think for themselves, and to ask questions. Adults who take it upon themselves to teach teenagers about the world have a particularly strong obligation to support them in thinking for themselves. If someone effusively praises you at first and then lashes out at you for questioning them or disagreeing, something is really wrong. It’s not your fault, and you’re not alone. People should not treat you that way.

I thought I would join in Tumblr’s new postitforward. I know this message will help some people! 

I want to talk about something serious for a moment. It’s something that many kids, teenagers and even adults need to face each day. It goes on in schools, at the workplace and even online. Let’s talk about bullying.

Technology has brought a lot of really cool things to our lives: We use e-mail, Instant Messaging, message boards and blogs to stay in touch with friends, keep up with what’s going on in the world, and to have fun. However, being connected all the time leaves us open to a special kind of bully: The Cyber Bully

More and more kids, teenagers and adults alike, have become susceptible to this type of bullying. Let’s all take a minute to understand what bullying feels like:

How Bullying Feels:

Its dark blue
Almost black
Words are spoken
Behind your back
In a bubble
You feel you’re trapped
That’s how bullying feels.

It’s a friend who lies
Or someone who tries
To persuade you to believe
That they do not deceive
Who’ ll turn around
And run you to the ground
Sticks and stones;
To break your bones
That’s how bullying feels.

The pain from the fall is great
But not as painful as the hate
Not as hurtful as words said
Enough to make you
Want to stay in bed
Enough to make you want to cry
Or make you feel you need to hide
That’s how bullying feels.

It’s like a glass of sour milk
Or a rotten fruit
It will make you sick,
It will make you sad,
It will make you hurt
And it will make you mad.
That’s how bullying feels.

For all of those who suffer in silence―
It is time to end the plight.
It is time to stand together,
It’s time to do what’s right.
Help others to feel loved
And to feel respected.
Do not bring others down,
To make them feel rejected.

Do not be afraid
To talk about the pain.
Together we can lift the clouds
That hold all the rain;
And allow for the sun 
To shine down once again….

WHAT TO DO if you are being bullied ONLINE:

1) DON’T RETALIATE. If someone is mean to you online, don’t hit back. It might seem natural to give them a taste of his or her own cruelty, but this will just keep the war going.

2) IGNORE IT. Face to face, it can be very hard to “walk away” from an insult. Online, it’s actually much easier. Turn off your computer and walk away. Do not go back to Web sites or chat rooms where you’ve been bullied.

3) TELL AN ADULT. Let a parent or guardian know that someone is bullying you online. Block the bully. If someone bullies you through e-mail, block that person’s e-mail address or ISP address. If you don’t know how to do this, ask an adult for help.

You can read more about the different types of bullying and what to do at PBS kids: http://pbskids.org/itsmylife/friends/bullies/

The most important thing to remember about bullying is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Even cool cats like me get bullied. Let’s all work together to end bullying and help make the web a better place for all of us. This has been an internet safety message from The Oreo Cat.

salon.com
This is the web browser you should be using if you care at all about security
Hint: It's not Chrome or Firefox
By Patrick Howell O'Neill

No matter what you’ve heard about the Tor network, the basics of the service are simple: Tor keeps anyone who uses it safe, secure, and anonymous on the Internet.

Originally created by the U.S. Navy, Tor can be used to browse the Web anonymously, send and receive private communications, or make other computer software anonymous by integrating it with Tor software.

Tor’s reputation, however, is less straightforward. Many equate the anonymity the network provides with those who decide to use it for illegal purposes. 

From terms like “Dark Net” and ”Deep Web” to who actually uses the privacy software, here’s everything you need to know about Tor.

With the recent explosion of this post, I felt I needed to make a post about how not to get murdered by someone you met off the internet (just kidding, but seriously, be safe!). 

1. Get to know them REALLY well

  • Hobbies
  • Job
  • University/College/High School
  • Family
  • Pets
  • Friends 
  • Future aspirations
  • Their intentions (if they want to get with you or just be friends)
  • Full name and what country or city they are from
  • Talk to then for MONTHS if you need to in order to feel like you really, truly know them.
  • For further reassurance, introduce them to your friends so they can also talk and gauge their character.
  • If the person seems nice and as if they are telling the truth, move to #2. If they are creepy, stop here. 
  • Don’t give out valuable personal info such as your home address.

2. Confirm their identity 

This is where internet stalking is totally okay. For safety reasons. 

  • Ask for a photo
  • Search that photo on Google by clicking and dragging the image into a tab with Google open. It will search EVERY indexed website/instance of that photo on the internet. You can check if it’s a fake photo this way. 
  • Check their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, anything else you can find.
  • If you cannot find any social media, take this as a big red flag.
  • If you can find social medias, see if what you learned from getting to know them aligns with what you find.

3. VIDEO CHAT!***

  • Add them on Skype and talk to each other over videocam. 
  • If the person refuses, take this as a red flag.
  • While on cam, look at their room for clues and see if you hear any people in the background such as their parents, siblings, friends, etc.
  • Get them to show you stuff in their room to get to know them better (and confirm anything they told you in the past), such as old yearbooks, sports trophies, posters, etc.
  • Get them to show you their IDs (driver’s licence, passport, etc). Hide your address. They should also hide theirs. 

4. Snapchat

I love snapchat because it is real time, and people snapchat a bunch of useless daily life stuffies. 

  • Get them to snapchat you throughout the day
  • Get them to snapchat their friends, family, while they are in class, what they ate for lunch, just about anything they feel like. 
  • This will help you get to know their daily patterns and once again, whether or not they are bullshitting. 

5. Tell your parents & friends

  • Tell your parents you met someone online, and hear them out as they warn you about the dangers. 
  • If you can convince your parents and friends that this person is safe, you have sufficiently gathered enough information to consider them safe-ish to meet. (in most cases. Some parents don’t care.)
  • If your parents are not interested and say okay without you convincing them, maybe talk to a teacher you like, a more conservative friend, or a different family member. 
  • If you are an older adult and don’t need parents approval, make sure to inform your friends about this person and ask their opinion.

6. Meet in a VERY public place.

  • My mom does a lot of online dating, and she ONLY ever meets guys in a public place so that she could leave at any time without trouble.
  • Meet someone in public, like a coffee shop, cafe, restaurant, bookstore, etc.
  • Always inform your friends and family where you are meeting this person, and what time you are meeting them.
  • Tell your friends & family that you will text them to let them know you are safe at a specific time, and if you do not, to call you. If you don’t pick up after 3 calls, they should call the police. 
  • Text this same person every hour to let them know you are okay.
  • If you are younger, make sure to meet this new person with your parents or with a group of friends. 
  • If you are very scared, stay on the phone with someone while you wait to meet the new person. This way, if anything goes wrong, someone will be on the phone with you to coach you through. And if you hang up unexpectedly, they can call for help.

7. If something goes wrong…

  • If you suddenly feel uncomfortable, don’t feel as if you can’t leave.
  • Tap another stranger’s shoulder and ask if you can use their phone to call your parents, even if you have your own fully-charged phone.
  • This is to involve a stranger/witness to the situation and ensure your safety.
  • NEVER EVER meet a group of boys alone if you are a young girl. Just don’t. If your internet friend brings a few people and they outnumber you, call someone, stay on the phone and leave. 
  • Do not go home with them. *****
  • If you are in a public place and something goes wrong, yell FIRE or HELP instead of rape. Less people will respond to rape, which is a sad reality. 
  • Have a whistle with you for emergencies. 

8. Online Safety Resources

https://www.cybertip.ca/app/en/internet_safety-for_youth

http://www.nationalcac.org/prevention/internet-safety-kids.html

https://www.aacc.edu/technology/file/GamingTips.pdf

http://teens.webmd.com/features/teen-internet-safety-tips

If you have anything to add, please do! I’m sure there are 1000 tips to stay safe.

Give this post a reblog to help out anyone planning to meet someone from online! <3 

youtube

Safesearch Wrap Up Update


Someone asked basic-brony-trash if we had any proof that Safesearch Wrap Up was actually making any sort of difference. Rather than just take screenshots, as we’ve sadly already had cases of people editing them to promote a skewed or all together incorrect reality, I took a screen recording of both normal search and Safesearch of Pinkie Pie, as she was the subject of my original How-To Video for reporting images on Google with Safesearch enabled.

At this time, as we’ve finally managed to remove the explicit and gore-y images that we were all reporting for months, I’m happy to say that in my own opinion Safesearch Wrap Up is working. We’re still trying to constantly promote #UpWithTagging, as properly tagging works to begin with will lessen the need to have a Safesearch Wrap Up!

Thanks for sticking with us, and as always, thanks to broniesagainstbullshit for spearheading the Safesearch Wrap Up Campaign!

10

Statcounter here: 
https://statcounter.com/
Generate redirect codes here:
http://freehostedscripts.net/blockip/

It’s always best to ignore anon hate and block them via your inbox, too!

If you don’t know where to redirect hate anons, here’s a folder of harmless images to choose from

Let’s try to make our Tumblr experiences more positive! <3

Please reblog to spread awareness of this trick that can weed out at least some of the hate on this website! 

We are goats

Hello. It is your friendly neighbourhood Anwen here. I am here with a message from my 2am brain. You know that story about the goats and the bridge and the trolls? Well, friends, we’re the goats. By that, I do not mean that we have cloven hooves, although if you do, then that’s rad, and I wish you luck with text posts. No, what I mean to say is that here be trolls. More precisely, here be unfulfilled individuals who genuinely have nothing better to do than attach hateful comments and incredibly triggering material to your posts. 

There are a few reasons as to why these trolls exist. A lot of them are That Guy; you know, the kid who honestly just finds it hilarious to provoke a reaction in someone, and will stoop to any level to get it. It’s like moral limbo with these guys, except the bar is so low that it’s practically underground. You cannot get lower than these guys. They do not have a limit: the only thing resembling a limit that they have is the point at which you react, and if that takes posting gore and racist comments, then they’ll do it. 

Trolls like this tend to target certain people, and the most common targets are young girls and people from oppressed groups, be it PoC, people from the LGBTQIA+ community, or disabled people. You cannot stop these trolls from targeting you. It’s a sad fact of the Internet: there are dark corners. 

As your friendly neighbourhood Anwen, I want people to be safe, and there are a few things you can do if someone does start attacking your posts or messaging you with harassing content:

  • turn off anonymous for a few days, first and foremost. A common troll tactic is to send threats and triggering content, and a lot of them will stop if you turn off anonymous, because people don’t always want to be caught. 
  • if they continue with anonymous turned off, then disable your ask box and submissions. Submissions is a very important one as some people will send triggering or disturbing images.
  • block them and report them here. Encourage your followers to do the same. If they’re reported more than once, it’s more likely that something will actually come of it.
  • if they reblog your posts with comments or images, do not reblog your post back from them. Ignore any reblogs and comments - don’t fuel the fire more. This only gives them the reaction that they want. Even if the content is reblogged by one of their friends, don’t engage them. It’s very hard not to, but ultimately it’s the only way they’ll tire out.
  • equally, don’t answer any messages they send. Just delete them and don’t make any reference to having received them. If you don’t react, there’s no fun in it for them, and no reason to continue.
  • if necessary, step away from the site for a few days once you’ve followed the above steps. Remember that your mental health is more important than keeping on top of your blog. Staying safe means knowing when you need to take a break. 
  • for younger users, if you can, find a support network (eg adding trusted mutuals on other social networking platforms, or telling someone what’s going on). As embarrassing as it might be, if the harassment continues, tell someone. This is coming from someone who was harassed online as a young teenager - it’s too much to deal with on your own. That’s not a weakness. Staying safe also means knowing when you need to share the weight, and even though it’s online, it’s still tough to deal with harassment. 
  • above all, remember that the onus is on these people, not you. They’re doing it because they are incredibly unfulfilled people, and they have problems in their own lives that they are unable to deal with. They’re choosing to ignore their own issues in lieu of trying to create problems in other people, and it does not reflect on you at all. Someone choosing to harass or trigger you is doing it because of their own faults, not yours.

It’s kind of sad that I went through this 9 years ago and it’s still so rampant, but there you go. The Internet is a great platform for a lot of things, but it’s also an absolute cesspool.

I hope everyone is groovy!!

PSA

If someone named Oddbagel reblogs your posts or sends you a message, DO NOT GO TO THEIR BLOG! It is a virus and if you go to their blog your account will be deleted. THIS MESSAGE IS NOT A JOKE!

Please be on the lookout for the Oddbagel virus and make sure to always be safe on tumblr. Thank you.

hey everyone, not many people will see this, but it’s important.

if you see any images or links saying “click this”, check the URL.

there’s a screamer that’s been going around for a few weeks on chatboards and the URL ends in “anne.jpg” or “anne.jpeg”. 

i fell for it and i really regret it. just check every link before you click anything.

have a great day c: