Teens and Online Safety
If you are the parent of a teenager in these modern times you no doubt know that there are many risks to using the internet as there are predators and other unsavory types lurking in chat rooms and on social sites all over the place. In this type of situation, it is best to talk with your teen about internet safety as soon as possible in order to make sure that they are able to make smart choices and identify any threats to their safety before they become a problem.
A good way to go about talking to your teen about internet safety is by waiting until they are getting off of the computer and then asking them if they know anything about internet safety yet, this action may make it seem less like you are attempting to control their life and more like you are simply concerned about them and taking an active part in their life.
When you are getting into a discussion of teens and online safety, never assume that your child knows anything about online safety and make sure that you cover every point even if your teen stops you by saying that they already know, keep in mind the fact that teens often think that they know everything already it is always best to make sure that they know by just going ahead with your talk where you were interrupted in order to make sure that they get everything instead of trusting that they know something.
Important things to talk to them about when you start this discussion are the threats they face online such as predators, scammers, hackers, and anyone that may attempt fraud in order to get personal information that they can sell or use to steal someone’s identity, make sure that they know to get out of any chat rooms if someone makes them uncomfortable and block anyone that makes them uncomfortable as well as reporting the person to the website administrators as well as talking to them about things that they post online could come back and hurt them, getting them in trouble with the law or making it harder for them to get a job later on in life if a potential employer happens to check Facebook or another social website your teen may be on.
Approaching the topic of teens and online safety is something that should be done as soon as possible I’ve found. As a 21 year old older sibling to two younger children (13 and 15) who haven’t been exposed to the internet until recently I’ve found that there are times where they seem to think that they are completely safe when a random stranger adds them on Facebook and are prone to tell them whatever they get asked to tell them. And as they haven’t been told of the risks every time their mother or father tries to talk to them about it they only half listen and the lesson doesn’t stick with them until I get in and show them some of the worse things that have happened to people online when they made the mistake of trusting a complete stranger. The sooner you get this talk out of the way with your teen the safer they will be and the more peace of mind you will be able to have when your teen is using the internet.