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PLAY IT SAFE: The Do's and Don'ts of Cyber Safety

Overview

This resource is designed to provide important information regarding online safety and privacy for individuals with autism.

PLAY

Personal information

This can include name, address, phone number, social security number, email address, school, work location, and photos.

  • Do use strong passwords and make sure you’re on trustworthy sites.
  • Don’t share it. This information is private.

Let another person know

This can include a parent, friend, support staff, or therapist.

  • Do tell someone if anyone online asks for your personal info.
    • Telling someone can keep you safe. Ask what is and is not okay to share online.
  •  Don’t trust strangers. They could use this information to hack into your accounts, steal your identity, spend your money, or share private photos/messages.

Attachments

  • Do be careful before opening attachments or clicking on links.
  • Don’t open anything online without checking with the person that sent it to you to see if it’s real. Or ask another trusted person (parent, friend, support staff, or therapist).

Your feelings are important

  • If something happens to you that makes you uncomfortable or upset, do tell another person right away (parent, friend, support staff, or therapist).
  • Don’t do anything you don’t want to. Think before you act.

IT

Information

  • Don’t believe everything you hear or see on the internet.
    • If you are unsure of what is true or not, ask another trusted person (parent, friend, or support staff) or do more research on it.

Take breaks from your computer

  • Do set a timer to make sure you aren’t spending too much time on the internet.
    • Having an addiction with the internet can be unhealthy and damaging to your mental and physical health.
  • Don’t forget about the real world!

SAFE

Spending money

  • Do be careful about what you buy and how much you spend.
    • Make sure the site is trustworthy. Ask another trusted person (parent,
      friend, support staff, or therapist) if you aren’t sure.
  • Don’t buy things online without permission (if you’re younger or live with a guardian). Don’t buy things for strangers online.

Act politely

  • Do treat others the way you want to be treated.
  • Don’t say anything mean or inappropriate. Don’t become a cyberbully.

Friends online should stay online

  • If someone online asks you to meet them in-person, do make sure another trusted person knows (parent, friend, support staff, or therapist).
    • Ask to video chat first, and make sure someone else is with you.
  • Don’t meet people you don’t know well. Not everyone online is who they say they are.

Enjoy yourself - play safe and have fun!

  • Don’t take the internet out of your life!
    • As long as you follow these rules and “play it safe,” the internet is a great place to make new friends, find new hobbies, and learn new information.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.