Teens and Social Mingling Online

Teens love to hang out, whether it is in malls or at their friends, however it is when they are mingling online where serious danger can happen.  Yes, when they are alone with their keyboard and mouse.

Here is a great reminder of social web safety tips for teens.  They can never be reminded enough!

  • Think about what you post. Sharing provocative photos or intimate details online, even in private emails, can cause you problems later on. Even people you consider friends can use this info against you, especially if they become ex-friends.
  • Read between the “lines.” It may be fun to check out new people for friendship or romance, but be aware that, while some people are nice, others act nice because they’re trying to get something. Flattering or supportive messages may be more about manipulation than friendship or romance.
  • Don’t talk about sex with strangers. Be cautious when communicating with people you don’t know in person, especially if the conversation starts to be about sex or physical details. Don’t lead them on – you don’t want to be the target of a predator’s grooming. If they persist, call your local police or contact CyberTipline.com.
  • Avoid in-person meetings. The only way someone can physically harm you is if you’re both in the same location, so – to be 100% safe – don’t meet them in person. If you really have to get together with someone you “met” online, don’t go alone. Have the meeting in a public place, tell a parent or some other solid backup, and bring some friends along.
  • Be smart when using a cell phone. All the same tips apply with phones as with computers. Except phones are with you wherever you are, often away from home and your usual support systems. Be careful who you give your number to and how you use GPS and other technologies that can pinpoint your physical location.

Posted with permission from ConnectSafely.org.

For those juniors and seniors that will be applying to colleges, remember, what goes online stays online.  Keep your social networking pages clean!  What you post today, can haunt and hinder you tomorrow.  This applies to everyone, even adults!

Broward County schools will be opening on August 23rd.  Be an educated parent, talk to your kids about bullying and cyberbullyingLet’s have a safe and fun school year! Like talking about dangers of drugs, you can never talk  to much about the dangers that lurk online.

Communication is key to keeping your teens safe!

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teens!