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Teenagers nowadays are known well for their “know it all” attitude, especially when it comes to technology. They will communicate like a pro whether it is about extracting a piece of information from the computer or managing some social media platforms. But do they know how to be safe online? With all their knowledge with them, are you still concerned about internet safety for children?
Well, no doubt how tech-savvy they feel, thinking that they are mature enough to use the internet safely is dangerous for them. Teens are surely young and they have marvelous minds that learn and adapt things very fast. They understand and learn new things faster than you. But, don’t forget, they are impulsive. They often forget logic when it is about something they want. The same is the case with their digital life.
A recent study from the National Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) showed that around every one in four teens of the UK have seen something weird and upsetting on the internet. Only 22% of these children were able to talk about it to someone. These statistics cover two aspects; the inability of the teens to decide whether online friends are the real ones, and lack of confidence and trust to talk to someone about such personal issues.
As the writer of the post ‘how to help teenagers stay safe online’ on the British Council suggests that two things must be done immediately. First, young people should be encouraged more about talking about their experience with others. Their parents or guardians must let them confide in them so that kids can talk freely about their positive as well as negative experiences.
Secondly, the word ‘friend’ has a different meaning for everyone. Especially, in the online world, the concept of a friend is wholly new. Many youngsters have friends on their social media accounts that they have never met. They might share similar interests, choices, and priorities. Kids tend to trust these friends so much, not knowing who is actually on the other side of the chat. This unhealthy interaction can leave them in trouble.
In addition to the dangerous interactions, kids can also easily explore darker sides of the internet. So, do they know the bad and good side of the internet? If not, they will just keep on exploring new things every day no matter how bad it is for them. Moreover, they have so little information about how to keep their identity safe on the internet. So, who will guide them about it?
This article about internet safety for teenagers talks about what parents should do about this. You can be a role model for them as they usually learn things from you. Talk about stuff that they might encounter online. Talk openly about the privacy and other precautions that they should do while they are online. Internet safety for children is a big concern and should be dealt with strategically.
Also, parents can use parental control apps to manage screen time and monitor the social media activities of their teens. It doesn’t just help in maintaining a good rule about the usage of the internet, also it helps in knowing what is going on with them. They might have not told you about the weird videos their Facebook friends send them, but you can know that through the app. In fact, parental control apps have been really effective in terms of providing teens safety online.
Here are some of the teen internet safety tips given by Debra Fulghum Bruce, Ph.D. She focusses on the fact that parents cannot restrict the usage of the internet for their kids. However, they can guide them most logically about the right use of their time on the internet without any unsafe approaches.
Here are some of the tips that will help your teen have the right approach towards the internet and its use:
Don’t give out detailed information about your whereabouts online. Sharing real contact information, location and other stuff can lead predators to your home right away. The Federal Trade Commission said that even small pieces of information like school location or the name of the play area where you play basketball can lead to their understanding of your real location.
This is the most common and stupid mistake made by teens. They share their passwords with their friends, more likely best friends or partners. What if they log on pretending to be you, write a few embarrassing things on your wall and get you in trouble? What would you do then?
Well, teens tend to share all sorts of information online. They share their feelings, their daily activities, and simply everything they feel on their social media platforms. Among these posts, there might be the ones that they don’t like when they are adults. So, think about it before posting as the internet never forgets anything.
Your parents never appreciate you bullying other kids at school, hurting anyone, and worse breaching someone’s security. You will be given multiple opportunities to do such wrong acts online. Avoid them and be who you are. If you do something wrong, you can’t just get away with it.
No matter how much you love your friends, or trust the strangers that you just met online, your parents are the most honest people to you. They care about you no matter what happens. So, if anything wrong happens, go to them and ask for help. They should be your first helpline for any emergency. They have the right experience and care for you.
You must be fascinated by pornography, but truth be told, it isn’t real. It is just a few people acting and making things more fantasized than ever for you. Nothing in that act is real. So, don’t pollute your mind with such content. Stick to the good things and leave these things to be experienced by you in reality.
Parents should give their kids these guidelines along with providing the ultimate support for internet safety for children. Don’t ever bail on your teens no matter what they have done. Be ready for such issues as they are kids exploring the world.