PRACTICALLY everyone uses the Internet these days. It’s so convenient and very easy to use. We can connect with our family and friends, we can shop online, we can even do our banking needs or pay our bills, we can search for information we need (like movie schedules, phone numbers) and market our businesses. But how safe is the Internet?

Our safety depends on our behavior.

Here are some tips/guidelines when using the Internet:

*We have to be very careful especially when using social media by being conscious of our privacy settings. We have the option to choose who can see our posts or if we allow others to tag us in others’ photos

*We have to make sure that we really know who our “friends” are on Facebook. Do we really know who we accepted as a friend? Is it his/her real account?

*We also need to change our passwords to all our accounts (especially bank accounts and shopping accounts) at least every three months to avoid phishing and similar online theft.

*We also have to be cautious of what we post, comment, tweet or blog. We shouldn’t give too much information or talk about someone who can also read the post. We should be prudent.

*There are other things we should also be aware of. There are cases of Internet addiction and cyber bullying.

Internet addiction is when one can’t leave his computer. He stays there the whole day, not interacting with family and friends. Sometimes doesn’t even eat or sleep, as long as he plays in the computer or does Facebook all day.

Cyber bullying is when one is being deliberately hurt through texts and social media. One receives a text, a comment or email to say bad things to you that hurts.

It is highly recommended that parents should closely check their children’s usage of the Internet.


Children’s emotions affect their behavior in the Internet and in real life. Learn more about this during Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) Bacolod’s lecture-forum titled “SAD, MAD, GLAD: How Emotions Affect Children’s Behaviors” on Monday, June 23, at La Proa 1 of L’Fisher Hotel. The resource speaker is Dr. Cornelio Banaag Jr., an internationally acclaimed child/adolescent/adult psychiatrist and PMHA national president. Registration fees are: P500 for non-members, P400 for members, P300 for students. For inquiries contact PMHA at 433-8868 or email this columnist at