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Staying Safe on Wikia

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(I know countless other users have already done blogs like this, but I'm going to do my own version anyway.)

Staying safe online is getting increasingly difficult these days, especially for young and/or inexperienced users. Wikia may seem like a safe haven at first, but all websites have risks. I cannot guarantee that nothing bad will happen if you follow these bits of advice, but doing so can and probably will greatly reduce your chances of being cyberbullied, stalked, etc.

1. Be Aware of What You Reveal

Everything on Wikia is logged or cached, whether you know/like it or not. That message you posted in the main part of CCC? One of sactage's bots is logging it. That edit you made to a wiki page? It will stay in the revision history until the end of Wikia's run. That message you posted on a friend's wall? It can still be viewed by others even if you remove it.

If you don't want something to be forever out there, don't say it at all. Keep it to yourself, write it in a journal...but don't say it online.

2. Don't Listen to Violators (Or Be One Yourself)

Anton and Arkadi Zaslavski as puppies

A ToU violator is like an adorable puppy: They may seem cute and innocent at first, but they can still bite hard. (Credits to Eve for the art!)

Imagine: You're talking with another user in chat when suddenly they send you a private message asking for you to tell them your age. That right there is a violation of Wikia's Terms of Use for attempting to "solicit personal information from any user..."

In that event, block their PMs. Tell someone if they're bringing the violation(s) into the main namespaces, too. But do not answer their question if they're asking for personal info. And make sure you never make their mistake yourself, otherwise you're to blame then!

3. Don't Be Lazy With User Rights

This one is directed at people who have just acquired their first local bureaucratic position, either through adoption or trust. Don't just give anyone user rights. In the wrong hands, user rights—bureaucrat rights especially—can be used to kill a wiki from the inside out. Only promote users you trust, and make it gradual as opposed to all-at-once.

4. "If It Ain't Safe, Don't Add It"

What on Earth is going on?
This one is directed at more advanced users who have enabled personal codes in their preferences. If you are presented with a code bit and you have no idea what it does, do not add it to your files unless a) the user is highly trusted by both you and others or b) another trusted user can explain its function.

For example, you might be given code that will redirect you to an external site upon purging the page. When added to personal files, it can get very annoying and will be difficult to remove; if able to be added site-wide, the adder will be in violation of Wikia's Terms of Use for "[obstructing] the proper functioning and view of advertisements, and/or user interface and functionality by other users..." And the URL it redirects to doesn't always have to be Google, either—for all we know, it could be a porn site. :o

Basically, don't add code unless you know exactly what it will do.


That's all for now! ^.^ And if you think I missed something, be sure to tell me in the comments below.

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