Ten Online Safety Tips for Teens
- Remember, what you put online, with words and pics, can be seen by countless thousands of people. Not all of these viewers will be nice people. It’s just a fact.
- Remember, when it comes to your body, “If you’re not selling it, don’t advertise it.” Got that? You know what this means, right? Good. If you’re sharing pics online, think about the implied message you are conveying with your images. If you wouldn’t want your aunt, niece or grandmother to see your online pics, then why are you sending them?
- So some fine guy surfs in out-of-the-blue and you starting chatting. He’s cool, you’re cool, and after a while you both share more stuff about one another. You see his pics and you think he’s gorgeous. He says he’s 18, seems to know one or two of your friends and wants to meet you. He wants to call you and he asks for your number. Ask yourself these questions: If he’s so hot and good-looking, how come he’s surfing the Web to make new friends? And, how do you know he’s really 18 and not a 45-year-old sexual predator? Hello? How come he always seems to be online when you are… always?
- Simple rule: Talk to your friends online, not total strangers. If unknowns surf in, delete and block, period.
- It’s a fact: Gay, lesbian, bi and Transgender teens are at far greater risk of being harassed, manipulated and victimized by creepers online than their straight peers.
- If you give people you meet online whom you have no idea who they are and you give them your email, your cell, your street name, your school’s name, then you have placed yourself at enormous risk. So don’t do it, period.
- If someone you meet online threatens you, starts sex talk with you or otherwise creeps you out, report and block them, then tell a parent, the police or other adult who can and will take immediate action.
- Have you ever been to a large city? When you’re there, do you talk to everyone you see? No. Do you pass out slips of paper with your personal info on it to strangers? Of course not. And you know why. Think of your online world as a giant city and use caution.
- A safer way to meet new people online is through interests, connections and hobbies that you initiate from the start, not the other way around.
- Meeting new friends online always posses some risk but it is something many teens do. Becoming friends with total strangers and then agreeing to meet with them in person someplace is NEVER advised. It can be dangerous. If you insist on doing so and nothing seems sketchy, always take a friend along with you and meet the new person in a very public place. Once there, keep your old friend with you, and never, ever, agree to leave that public place with the person you’ve just met for an undisclosed location. Doing so would be very dangerous.
Talk to a parent, school counselor or your school resource officer. Or leave a question in the comment box below. I personally reply to all comments and questions. Stay Safe – The World Needs You!
Thanks, Kevin Lee.
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by Ma. Shayne Krizel Zalameda