Thursday, February 2, 2012

C.L. Lindsay speaks about online safety

By Julianne Bartosz
Editor in chief

The Executive Director of the Coalition for Student and Academic Rights (CO-STAR) emphasized online safety in a presentation Jan. 19 at Saint Mary’s University’s Page Theatre.

Speaking to more than 200 students, Attorney C.L. Lindsay used a slideshow featuring action figures to depict the importance of online safety, specifically regarding plagiarism, sexting and social media.

“If you wouldn’t do it offline, don’t do it online,” said Lindsay, explaining that the same laws and social standards apply to life both on and off the Internet.

Smart choices online go beyond life on campus, said Lindsay. He said, 44 percent of employers check social networks before hiring.

“You have to assume that anything you put up there is forever,” said Lindsay.

To be safe, Lindsay recommended keeping privacy settings at the highest possible levels. Also, he advised students to double-check settings when a website updates its privacy policy because it may reset them to default settings.

Lindsay said that his biggest challenge is getting this helpful information out to students. He added, “Teaching students to stay out of trouble is a lot more fun than helping them out of trouble.”

Lindsay established CO-STAR in 1998 to help college students and professors with “day-to-day legal challenges” at no charge. It is currently a network of over 500 attorneys throughout the nation who donate their time to help. More information about CO-STAR is available online at

Lindsay has also authored the book The College Student’s Guide to the Law: Get a Grade Changed, Keep Your Stuff Private, Throw a Police-Free Party, and More!, available for purchase online through SMU’s bookstore partner, Barnes & Noble.

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