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Awful things await those who don’t maintain vigilance

Bethany Hargrove


Let’s face it—the Internet is a really scary place. A hilarious and frighteningly addicting place, but an unnerving realm all the same. Sometimes if one is careless, one can stumble on some truly scarring things online. So how does one go about avoiding seeing those things that are so awful they cannot be unseen? Here are some simple precautions you can take to avoid needing to get therapy, gouge your eyes out, or pour bleach into your brain.

Turn Safesearch ON

You must turn it at least to moderate. Honestly, Google images is one of the most terrifying places on the Internet if you don’t turn safeseach on. It’s like the ultimate compendium of all images depraved an awful. If something exists, there is porn of it, and it’s someone’s fetish (according to the Rules of the Internet). Avoid having your innocent searches be turned into something the absolute opposite of innocent in your head—spare yourself. Turn safesearch on.

When in doubt, Don’t Click the Link.

Casually clicking links is not only a good way to expose yourself to more than you ever wanted to, but is also a very efficient way to acquire some really gross viruses—viruses that could do anything from stealing your personal information to damaging your harddrive irreparably. Also, clicking links which you’re not absolutely sure are what you want can leave your personal hard drive—your brain—irreparably scarred. Don’t let your curiosity screw you over.

If you Stumble(upon), Turn Off Explicit Content.
Stumbleupon is the single best add-on for Firefox or Chrome, launching you to random websites that suit your tastes. Turning off explicit content seems kind of obvious to me, but I promise that doing so won’t filter out interesting things. Only icky things. If you’re sensitive to nudity or bad language, I don’t recommend Stumbling at all, for those things slip through the explicit content filter for the sake of art—for example, a photographer shooting unclothed but (usually mostly) covered girls, or a poem with profanity.

Overall, staying relatively not scarred for life is a matter of wanting to. You simply have to want to ignore your curiosity telling you it’s nothing bad, you can look, click the link. Maybe your curiosity was right and you’ll be fine, but for the times it’s wrong, it’s worth it to not click the links or Google the image.




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